SAN MATEO (CBS SF) — As the Delta variant continues to surge around the world – the U.S. State Department has added more countries to their list of places they advise people do not travel to.
The government has issued Level 4: Do Not Travel advisories for nearly 100 countries around the world, which now includes Morocco, Saint Martin, and The Bahamas – due to spiking COVID-19 cases.READ MORE: Oakland Ties 2020 Homicide Total in First 9 Months of 2021
Meanwhile, the Governor of Hawaii is asking people to not travel to the islands through October, unless it’s for essential business.
“As far as Hawaii’s proclamation of do not travel here, I think that’s going to affect some of the upcoming travel for my clients. I think some people will be respectful of that and will want to cancel,” travel agent David Petlin said.
Petlin owns the Oakland-based company Flair Travel. He said he saw a brief lull in business back in the beginning of August when the Delta variant first started spreading.
“I was getting a couple of cancellations from people who have kids, especially under 12 who are not vaccinated, who were worried about travel,” he said. “The phones stopped ringing.”
But that has since changed, he said.READ MORE: Advocates for Immigrant Rights March From Santa Rosa to Healdsburg
“The cancellations kind of stopped, phones started ringing again, emails started coming in again – some of the clients who wanted some last minute travel who are vaccinated wanting to go to Hawaii and Mexico, those are my two big destinations that I’m selling right now,” he said.
Luxury travel agent Irene Arbiv, who owns Travel Darlings, says despite the advisories and Delta surge, there seems to be a pent up demand to get away.
“The phones are still ringing off the hooks – I think people are trying to get out in case borders close. People are hungry and yearning to travel – and the time is now,” she said. “There’s a lot of pent up demand, that has continued especially for luxury travel companies. People are looking for more hand holding, they’re looking for private tours and private guides rather than groups.”
Arbiv and Petlin both suggest people who are planning trips strongly consider travel insurance these days.
“A lot of travel companies that are out there, when you book your air and hotel together you can buy what’s called a cancel for any reason travel protection – and that will allow you to cancel up to 24 hours before you depart and get 100% of your money back. If you’re booking directly with the airlines, you’re going to get a voucher,” Petlin said.
Arbiv is encouraging people to travel, as she says there are certain popular tourist destinations that are not as busy as they typically would be. However, she stressed the importance of making sure they come prepared.MORE NEWS: Pelosi Expects House to Pass Infrastructure Bill This Week
“If you’re traveling – make sure you have every single duck militantly in the row,” she said. “The aspect of figuring it out when we get there is not going to happen.”