State considers adjusting travel guidelines for vaccinated residents

KIRO 7 has learned the state is evaluating the current travel guidelines and how they will apply to vaccinated residents.

At this point, federal and local guidelines recommend getting tested one to three days before you fly and about three days after you get back, along with a seven-day quarantine. The state is considering adjusting that for vaccinated residents.

As spring break travel begins, officials are concerned about the impact on the case counts in Washington. The COVID-19 cases were declining but now have plateaued.

“Given the disease level in Washington state, across the country and internationally, the public health guidance is to avoid travel unless it’s absolutely essential,” said Deputy Health Secretary Lacy Fehrenbach.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Lindquist said young adults drive up the numbers and issued a warning. “I want to give a very specific message to those 20- to 40-year-olds. You are the age group that is driving the early increase in cases, so please be mindful of wearing a mask and social distancing and getting vaccinated when you’re eligible,” said Lindquist.

Travel is picking up at Sea-Tac Airport. On Thursday afternoon, Don Bergin and his wife flew in from Reno. The couple are fully vaccinated and were wearing their masks, headed to visit their grandchildren.

“We haven’t been with our grandchildren for almost a year,” said Bergin at baggage claim.

Kristin Francis and her daughter, Gigi, arrived from Redmond, Oregon. Gigi is a high school senior, and they came to enjoy spring break.

“Quarantining a little bit. But we both had COVID over ... Thanksgiving and Christmas, so the chances of us getting it are a little bit less,” said Francis.