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International Corner: Travel Restriction Struggles

Travel Restrictions | Graphic by Dylan Collison | The Wright State Guardian

Despite the many travel restrictions for people moving in and outside of the U.S., some international students still feel brave enough to visit their families on the other side of the globe, unlike others who try to avoid any potential risks of traveling.

Winter and spring breaks are usually the most popular times for international students traveling back to their home countries, but this year has been different. 

Official Orders 

On Jan. 26, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced an order which says that air passengers who are arriving in the U.S. need to test negative for the coronavirus no more than three days before the flight. 

Europe has always been a connecting point for traveling to the U.S. from Asia. Nowadays, European Union consistently changes restrictions by putting additional effort into suspending non-essential traveling in their countries. This means that a lot of international flights with a layover there can’t operate properly anymore. 

In addition, foreign nationals who have been in China, Iran, Schengen area, UK, Ireland, Brazil, and South Africa during the last 14 days are prohibited from entering the U.S. 

Travel experience  

Priyanka Sharma, a graduate international student, decided to spend her winter break with loved ones in India. 

“I had to quarantine myself for seven days at home,” Sharma said.  

Sharma’s return to the U.S. for the spring semester at the time of coronavirus was not as smooth as she thought it could be. 

“My flight got canceled three times while coming back to the U.S. I wasn’t sure whether I’d be back in the U.S. again for this semester,” said Sharma. 

Sharma mentioned a few mandatory things such as providing a negative coronavirus test report and wearing a mask at all times at the airports and on the airplane were part of her travel experience this year. These are the regular rules now if you decide to travel abroad. 

“Even at the layovers we had to show a negative COVID test to take the connecting flight”, said Sharma. 

Having so many travel restrictions worldwide are made to protect us from the pandemic, yet it does make it harder for international students to travel back home. It is important to follow all regulations, recommendations, and protocols for safe and essential traveling. 

Olha Zuban

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