Know before you go: Traveling to other countries amid COVID-19

SEATTLE — As we head into the Memorial Day weekend, with COVID-19 vaccines now readily available, it’s no surprise that bigger crowds are expected over last year.

On Thursday morning, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport was already crowded with holiday travelers.

Many people are wondering how changing COVID-19 restrictions impact flights and requirements when entering different countries.

The number one thing you should do before taking off is to check before you go.

There have been multiple stories of people purchasing plane tickets, only to be turned away at the check-in counter because they don’t meet the requirements to get into the destination country.

Ralph Colunga, a travel expert with TripIt Concur, said flexibility and good cancellation policies are key when it comes to traveling.

“In case your plans have to change, whether you want them to or not, you have to sometimes deal with those circumstances, and I would just make sure you’re providing yourself with enough flexibility when it comes to cancellations and/or changes that could be something that’s out of your control,” said Colunga.

Some countries’ testing requirements vary from testing negative for COVID-19 between 24 to 72 hours before you fly.

You should also check to see if the country you’re flying into requires both a negative test and a record of COVID-19 vaccinations.

You can keep up with the latest information and requirements by checking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website and keeping up with the ministry of foreign affairs or health departments for each country.