“Unvaccinated children would have to be quarantined for another five days and of course the parents would have to stay with the child,” said Eric Newman, who owns the travel blog Island With Kids. “Iceland’s brand new travel regulations are not friendly to families traveling with children.”
After a year of virtual schooling and working from home, parents are tired of quarantining themselves with their children, said Anthony Berklich, founder of the travel platform Inspired Citizen. “What these goals basically say is you can come but your children cannot,” he said.
Instead, families choose warm weather destinations closer to where they live.
When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in January that proof of a negative PCR test would be required for all passengers arriving in the United States, many tropical resorts – including more than a dozen Hyatt hotels – offered more than just that Free on-site tests, but a greatly reduced room in which quarantine can be carried out if this test is positive. That move, said Rebecca Alesia, a travel consultant at SmartFlyer, has been a boon to the family travel business.
“What if you get up the morning you are supposed to come home and Junior has a positive surprise test?” She said. “Many of my customers booked based on this policy this summer.”
For parents struggling to decide how and when to return to travel, good news is on the horizon, said Dr. Shruti Gohil, the medical director of infection prevention at the University of California at Irvine.
“The chances of a good pediatric vaccine coming soon are high,” she said, noting that both Pfizer and Moderna are already doing pediatric studies with their vaccines. “There is no reason to believe that the vaccine will have adverse effects on children that we have not yet seen in adults.”
In the meantime, parents should continue to be careful with children. That doesn’t mean families shouldn’t travel at all, but she recommends driving rather than flying. Unvaccinated children are not allowed to play with children from other households when exposed; and to stay vigilant while wearing masks and washing your hands regularly.