This time of year, family law practitioners are often inundated with questions from clients re vacation schedules, travel itineraries.
Holiday Season Past:
Some of the routine issues we normally deal with are:
When does my holiday vacation start? Who gets Christmas this year? I thought I got Christmas every year?
When can I get an itinerary from the other parent who is traveling with the children? What if I don’t get an itinerary? Can I stop the trip?
What if he (she) refuses to turn over the passport(s), the child(ren) for my vacation? Can you or the court force him (her) to turn them over to me? When do the courts close for the holidays? What if they don’t deliver the child(ren) and I lose all my money and can’t take the trip?
Travel Restrictions Coast to Coast:
As of October 21, 2020, the CDC recommended that:
Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
You can get COVID-19 during your travels. You may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread COVID-19 to others. You and your travel companions (including children) may spread COVID-19 to other people including your family, friends, and community for 14 days after you were exposed to the virus.
Don’t travel if you are sick or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Don’t travel with someone who is sick.
It is notable that the reported cases in November 2020 more than doubled the reported cases of October 2020 without including the expected increases in cases and deaths from the Thanksgiving travel which are expected to be high. The recommendations re STAYING HOME will undoubtedly only get louder and more intense.
Before any travel, no matter how ill advised, you must check the requirements of the state you are traveling to. If you plan as perhaps in years past, to arrive the day before Christmas, you may find yourself alone in quarantine because the state requirements prevent you from otherwise.
To look at a few states, the below show the vast differences state to state that can impact on your travel plans.
Alaska: Nonresidents and residents entering the state must fill out a traveler declaration form listing where they’ve traveled in the previous two weeks by using the Alaska Travel Portal. Residents who’ve been out of state for longer than 72 hours are asked to take a free COVID-19 test upon their return or can instead choose to quarantine for two weeks (they’ll need to submit a self-isolation plan through the portal). Visitors are strongly encouraged to take a test within 72 hours of their arrival (they need to upload their negative result or proof of test taken into the travel portal); if not, they can either be tested on arrival (for $250 per test) and quarantine until