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Route 66 and COVID 19
February 6, 2021
1:49 pm
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Steve Bellamy
Cardiff, Wales, UK
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Who has been able to travel the road lately? How much has Route 66 been impacted by the pandemic?

I see that some businesses are closed temporarily while others remain open. It'd be interesting to hear from those with experience of traveling at this time.

Set up the Driving Route 66 website in 2010 following the best road trip experience in 2007.

February 7, 2021
11:23 pm
frank
usa
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2021 may be difficult to impossible for Route 66 tourism and other extended US travel. As of early February, some states require anyone crossing their borders to clear extremely high hurdles--even those who have protection after receiving both Covid-19 vaccinations! Here's the drill from one of the eight Route 66 states:
"All travelers arriving in New Mexico...are required to self-quarantine for two weeks or the length of their stay.... They "may only leave a residence or place of lodging to receive medical care." Those passing through are asked to stop only for essential activities like pumping gas or buying food.

This info is from http://www.aarp.org and updated frequently. No doubt it will change before summer. Normally, state border crossings are non-events, but New Mexico's requirements alone--if left in place--would doom Route 66 travel for this year.

The US also has a crazy-quilt of restrictions on restaurants and bars with extremely limited capacity requirements in places. Mass vaccinations of the under-65 crowd have yet to begin. And a survey finds 27% of the US public is likely to reject the free shots. Combine this with anti-mask zealots and religious super-spreading events...plus a virus that is mutating...and you might be better off waiting until 2022 if you want a NORMAL Route 66 experience.

California has something very similar. CA Residents are supposed to stay within 120 miles of home. Here's the current info for everybody else (adopted January 6, 2021) from the official state website:
"Traveling into California from other states or countries for tourism or recreation is also strongly discouraged, and anyone traveling into California should self-quarantine for 10 days...."

February 8, 2021
9:36 pm
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Steve Bellamy
Cardiff, Wales, UK
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Brilliant and up-to-date info as always Frank - thanks for this.
It's such a terrible situation - hopefully we can be free of this (for the best part) before the end of the year.
The impact on small businesses that thrive on Route 66 tourism can't be understated. Are you aware of any that have had to close permanently so far?

Set up the Driving Route 66 website in 2010 following the best road trip experience in 2007.

February 8, 2021
11:54 pm
frank
usa
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New Mexico's Department of Health has responded by noting that quarantine requirements can be altered by the governor's office. There are exceptions for first responders, airline personnel etc. but not travelers who have received both Covid-19 vaccinations.

To answer Steve's question, I'm aware of one permanently-closed business offhand, "Ann's Chicken Fry House" in Oklahoma City. Many others frequented by Route 66 tourists, such as Pops in Arcadia OK and Joseph's in Santa Rosa NM attract locals and weekend visitors from the region. All three remain open (I've checked their websites recently). No doubt there others are struggling and some have gone under. The website http://www.route66news.com has this kind of info.

February 11, 2021
1:53 pm
frank
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To update this (as of February 11 2021): Travel from Europe into the US is banned except for a few categories of people. Along Route 66, both New Mexico and California have quarantines. NM has changed from a required self-quarantine for 14 days to a voluntary 14 day self-quarantine with a voluntary Covid-19 test...EVEN FOR THOSE WHO HAVE RECEIVED BOTH VACCINATIONS. I still think 2022 is the year for any long trips.

March 7, 2021
2:59 pm
frank
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To update this as of early March 2021: Some California theme parks (Disneyland etc.) will be allowed to re-open in April, with strict capacity limits. But the official state website has this notice of importance to Route 66:
"Traveling into California for tourism or recreation is strongly discouraged. If you do travel into California, you should self-quarantine for 10 days after you arrive, and should limit your interactions to people in your household." If you are overseas and considering a US pleasure trip for any reason, I would skip this year--2022 should be a lot better. Many non-Americans are still barred from entering as noted above.

March 20, 2021
6:23 am
Weiveismart
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"Traveling into California for tourism or recreation is strongly discouraged. If you do travel into California, you should self-quarantine for 10 days after you arrive, and should limit your interactions to people in your household."

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