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 By Jonathan Wolfe

    The White House said the U.S. will start restricting travel from India on Tuesday.
    Colorado is seeing a rapid spread of cases among middle and high school students.
    AstraZeneca's vaccine has brought in $275 million in sales so far this year.
    Get the latest updates here, as well as maps and a vaccine tracker.
Bon voyage?

With summer around the corner and vaccinations in full swing, millions of Americans are itching to travel.

For advice, I spoke to Ceylan Yeginsu, who covers travel for The Times.

What should I consider before traveling?

The main consideration is whether you're vaccinated. If not, you're still at risk of catching and spreading the virus. So you should take the same precautions that you've been taking throughout the pandemic — and kind of stay put. If you're fully vaccinated, you have more options.

I'm vaccinated. What are my options?

I think your focus should be on domestic travel. Right now, I think it's very difficult to make plans for international travel because there is so much uncertainty. While the U.S. has been very successful with its vaccination rollout and has kind of brought the virus under control, in most other countries, it's just completely raging right now. And a lot of places are under very strict lockdown.

Keep in mind, for so long now we've become so used to being isolated and at home, so you may need to test the waters a little bit and see how it feels to go to a hotel, go to the beach or be around other people.

As things stand now, it looks like the U.S. will be in much better shape than most of the world over the next few months. Travel is already bouncing back with holiday rentals and popular summer destinations already selling out, so I would plan to book quickly.

Europe said Americans can travel there this summer. Should I book a trip?

It feels a bit too early to make a commitment. The E.U. commissioner said that there was an expectation that Americans will be allowed back into Europe this summer, but that's quite optimistic, and there are no details about when and how. And that expectation could change based on how the pandemic goes in each country, because if the numbers are bad again, each country has the right to be able to go back into lockdown.

So it's hard for me to say definitively, "book that trip to Italy in August, it'll be OK," because we just don't know that. However, what I will say is this. While I think it's much safer to book domestically now, if you have the funds, wait and see what happens and then be ready to book in the future at the last minute. And another thing: Prepare for a longer season. People are so used to booking trips in July and August, but in Europe, especially in some Mediterranean places, they're talking about extending the vacation season into November.

Do I need a vaccine passport to travel?

Right now, vaccine passports aren't required anywhere. There are lots of different companies that are developing vaccine passports, but there's a lot to figure out and I think it's going to take some time.

When will traveling return to normal?

The travel industry has been completely decimated by the pandemic and generally speaking, they don't really expect it to get back to 2019 levels until 2023, 2024. But no one expected the vaccination campaign — especially in wealthier place like the U.S., the U.K., and Europe — to roll out so quickly. So there is a lot of optimism and a lot of people in the travel industry who lost their jobs are being called back to work. However, we do not know how the vaccines will interact with different variants that will keep popping up in parts of the world. So, it's very difficult to look beyond this summer season.
Crisis in South America

While much of the world's attention has been on the disaster unfolding in India, the crisis in Latin America has taken an alarming turn for the worse.

Last week, the region accounted for 35 percent of all coronavirus deaths in the world, despite having just 8 percent of the global population.

The mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, warned residents to brace for "the worst two weeks of our lives." Uruguay, once lauded as a model for keeping the coronavirus under control, now has one of the highest death rates in the world. Death tolls have also hit records in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Peru in recent days.

The crisis stems in part from predictable forces: limited vaccine supplies and slow rollouts, weak health systems, and fragile economies that make stay-at-home orders difficult to impose or maintain. Brazil is also playing a central role. Its president, Jair Bolsonaro, has consistently dismissed the threat of the virus and denounced measures to control it, helping fuel a dangerous variant that is now stalking the continent.

Latin America was already one of the world's hardest hit regions in 2020, and the length of the crisis makes it even harder to fight. The region has already endured some of the strictest lockdowns, longest schools closures and largest economic contractions in the world.

Now, experts worry that Latin America is on a path to becoming one of the globe's longest-haul Covid patients — leaving public health, economic, social and political scars that may run deeper than anywhere else in the world.
Vaccine rollout

    Turkey, battling its worst surge yet, approved Russia's Sputnik V vaccine.
    Vaccine hesitancy in rural, white communities in the U.S. is driven by more than just politics.
    A new survey found that 60 percent of U.S. companies will require their employees to be vaccinated, CNBC reports.
    Pfizer shipped doses of its vaccine to Mexico this week, the first time the company sent doses abroad from one of its U.S. facilities, Reuters reports.
    The troubled vaccine manufacturer Emergent BioSolutions projected record revenues.

See how the vaccine rollout is going in your county and state.

If you've found this newsletter helpful, please consider subscribing to The New York Times — with this special offer. Your support makes our work possible.
What else we're following

    India's Premier League, which is playing cricket matches in a "bio-bubble" without spectators, has drawn criticism for diverting resources from the country's coronavirus fight.
    The Times followed one man in India on a desperate hunt for oxygen to save his parents who fell ill with Covid-19.
    Indoor dining in New York City will expand to 75 percent capacity next week.
    Britain is testing how restriction-free events can happen safely — from dancing to business meetings.
    Take a look at how Google is redesigning its campus for the Covid era.
    Disneyland reopened to California residents.
What you're doing

It is heartwarming, to say the least, to know that others have similar feelings toward the prospect of shedding our masks. I do not look forward — at all — to discard this lovely Swiss Army knife of a tool that the mask is to me. Discovering the joy of not having to wear makeup, no longer having to push a smile through, forgoing lipstick, evading dust and pollen allergies, extra warmth for (what I now know to be!) the driest part of my face, or speaking honestly through my eyes. I am not ready to shelve my closet of consciously-purchased masks. It's gonna be hard.

— Marina Lopez, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Kris~ Dreamweaver
30th April 2021.


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