Social Circle agent advises how to travel safely during pandemic

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — With stay-at-home orders and mask mandates, people across the country have been foregoing their normal travels in favor of safer, closer to home options. 

Now, with vaccination rates climbing, people are starting to think about traveling again. 

Christina Norris, co-owner of the Social Circle-based travel agency Norris & Associates, Dream Vacations, said she has been providing her clients with information about how to safely travel during the pandemic. 

“A lot of people are wanting to [travel], but they don’t know what they need to do to make that happen,” Norris said. “The internet makes it incredibly confusing at times.”

To help make information accessible, Norris has created a tab on her website with updated information about safe traveling. 

She also offered free information webinars in which she shared experiences from her own travels and testimonies from her clients’ vacations during the pandemic, as well as information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).

However, even with vaccines available to some of the population, COVID-19 still poses an immense threat. 

In Newton County alone, there were 6,793 total cases of the virus as of Feb. 24, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health’s website. This danger, Norris said, has caused some of her more at-risk clients to postpone their travels. 

“I do have a client who has been desperately wanting to go to Hawaii for months now,” Norris said. 

“But with the situation being the way it is with COVID-19 … it is my job as their travel advisor to advise them of what the current situation is, what the numbers are, what we’re looking at regarding vaccines — the whole scope of it.”

Norris said that after evaluating the situation with the help of the client’s doctor, they eventually decided that it would be safer to postpone the trip.

Currently, the CDC’s website recommends that people hold off on traveling at this time, due to high rates of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths across the U.S. For those who must travel, the CDC recommends getting vaccinated if possible, following masking and social distancing guidelines and getting tested for COVID-19 prior to the trip.