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COVID-19 tests and quaratine rule changes make travel plans confusing


COVID-19 widespread testing is crucial to fighting the pandemic, but is there enough testing? The answer is in the positivity rates.


When New York announced last month that Washington state residents could visit without quarantining for two weeks, Seattle-based labor lawyer Michael Subit sprang into action.

He started planning a six-day cross-country driving trip with his wife and Bernese Mountain dog to visit his elderly parents. His 91-year-old father was just discharged after four months without visitors at a Veterans Administration hospital, where he was treated for a bone infection. His mother, 83, has diabetes, survived several strokes and heart attacks and is at high risk of COVID-19. 

They arrived in White Plains, New York, Tuesday night. As he traveled across the U.S., Subit kept an eye on Washington’s COVID-19 rate and case count to make sure it didn’t go back on New York’s list of more than 30 states whose residents have to quarantine for 14 days if they visitThey drove through Montana about the time it hit New York’s list, and they passed through many other states already on it, including Idaho and Indiana. New York doesn’t count a state unless you spend 24 hours in it. 

Know before you go: These states require travelers to self-quarantine or present negative COVID-19 test

Michael Subit, his wife Leslie Hagin and dog, Breezy, are shown by South Dakota’s Missouri River on their drive to New York to see Subit’s parents. (Photo: Family photo)

Many states

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Google adds new features to help with your travel plans in the COVID era

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We all know travel planning right now looks much different from just months ago. And platforms like Google Travel are catching up with the times.

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U.S. travel restrictions vary from state to state, with the number of COVID-19 cases fluctuating on a regular basis. That means the biggest consideration in vacationing is likely where exactly to go — and how to sort through all the destination and travel policies.

Related: Use this Google Maps trick to save money on international trips

Google Travel is releasing several new tools to its search functionality to make the pandemic travel process easier. By pulling together coronavirus data and information on flights and hotels, the search giant wants to position itself as a one-stop destination for travel planning in this new era.

In the coming weeks, Google will roll out features such as local coronavirus case counts, the percentage of flights that are in operation and hotel availability numbers while searching for travel. These are all “travel trends” and will join the existing alerts that Google already offers on its platform.

Related: A guide to the best features of Google Flights 

Google Travel is also adding a new “free cancellation” filter to sort for

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