What to know about vacation travel to Miami, Ft. Lauderdale

Are you planning to travel for the holidays? You will need to do some homework to ensure your journey is safe and smooth.

Be sure to double-check your itinerary for any COVID restrictions your destination may have put in place. New York City, for example, requires proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, museums, Broadway shows. It’s a different world from Florida, which has banned businesses from requiring customers to show proof of vaccination.

Some companies still have a mask requirement in place, like Walt Disney World. Cruises also have their own COVID vaccine and testing requirements.

And if you’re planning on taking a flight, beware. It can get confusing.

Here is a guide to help you:

Do you need to be fully vaccinated for domestic and international travel?

If you are traveling within the country, you do not need to be fully vaccinated. although it is recommended.

If you are traveling abroad, it depends where you are going. Each country has its own vaccination, screening and quarantine rules.

If you are traveling from another country to the United States, you do not need to be fully vaccinated if you are a US citizen, US national, lawful permanent resident, or traveling on an immigrant visa. Foreigners must be fully vaccinated although there is some exceptionssuch as children under 18.

Do you need a COVID test to fly?

Flying within the countryCOVID-19 testing is recommended, but not required. Fly internationally, it depends where you are going. Each country has its own vaccination, screening and quarantine rules.

If you are traveling to the United States, all international travelers, including U.S. citizens, ages 2 and older are required to take a COVID-19 test one day before their flight and present proof of a negative result before boarding, regardless of or their vaccination status. A COVID test is not required if you can prove that you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days and have recovered. The new rule does not apply to Puerto Rico and other US territories.

The Biden administration says the stricter testing requirements should help stop the spread of the omicron variant, which has been reported in more than 35 countries and several US states, including Florida.

Travelers wait to board a flight at Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. Daniel A. Varela [email protected]

How to check the vaccine, tests, quarantine rules for your destination?

Check with your airline or travel agent (if you used one) for the latest information on whether your destination has any COVID-related entry requirements. You can also check online via the United States Department of State website.

An alternative is to use the UNWTO/IATA Destination Tracker, a free online tool that tracks COVID entry rules by country and also provides information on whether there are any stay-at-home requirements or COVID restrictions affecting public transit, attractions, and restaurants. This site does not break down information by city or state, just by country.

POINT: Periodically check the COVID entry requirements closer to travel in case any changes occur.

Do you need to take a COVID test 24 hours before your flight to the United States?

A day, for the purposes of the order, does not literally mean 24 hours before a flight. This means that the COVID-19 test must be taken the day before your flight to the United States, regardless of the time of your flight or the time you took the test, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“For example, if your flight is at 1 p.m. on a Friday, you can board with a negative test taken any time the previous Thursday,” the CDC said.

Where can I take a COVID test in South Florida?

A person prepares to be vaccinated at the Miami-Dade County COVID-19 Community Testing and Immunization Site in Tropical Park in this October 2021 file photo. Al Diaz [email protected]

Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport have COVID-19 testing sites. Unlike Miami-Dade and Broward County-run sites, COVID-19 testing at the airport costs money.

MIA has two sites. One of the sites, operated by Communitel, at the mid level of the Concourse E ground level in front of Door 11, is open 24 hours a day for walk-ins and scheduled appointments. For testing fees or to schedule an appointment, call 305-869-1161.

The other site, operated by Nomi Health, near the Concourse H TSA checkpoint on the departures level at Gate 20, is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily for walk-in appointments. For testing fees or to schedule an appointment, visit the Nomi Health website or call 305-280-0694 or toll-free at 833-685-0700.

At FLL, the testing site operated by Nomi Health is in Terminal 3, pre-security on the lower level near baggage claim, and is accessible only from the curb through gate 311 (follow the directional signs). The site is open every day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. for passengers providing proof of their arrival or departure flight from FLL. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the site will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To make an appointment, go Nomi Health FLL Web Link. Pricing for the tests can be found on the FLL website. For questions. call 305-280-0441 or 833-483-1319.

POINT: Utilize Miami-Dade County COVID-19 Online Test Locator and Broward County COVID-19 Online Test Locator to find other options in South Florida.

Are masks still required on airplanes and at airports in Miami and Fort Lauderdale? What about taxis, Ubers and Lyfts?

Masks are still required at US airports and on planes traveling to, within or outside the United States as part of a federal mask mandate.

The mandate also requires masks inside other “transportation hubs”, including train stations and seaports. Masks must also be worn on other forms of public transportation, including buses, trains, taxis, boats and rideshares like Uber and Lyft. The mandate also applies to Metrorail and Metromover.

You do not need to wear a mask inside your own car.

Travelers crowd the hallways as they walk to their terminals at Miami International Airport in Miami, Fla., in this Nov. 23, 2021 file photo. Daniel A. Varela [email protected]

What are the parking options at Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport?

Miami International Airport has two garages and a few charging stations for people with electric vehicles. It also has a cell phone parking lot just off LeJeune Road and Northwest 31st Street where people can park for free while waiting to hear from someone arriving at the airport for pickup. MIA also has valet parking, but it’s temporarily closed, according to the website.

Dolphin Garage serves Concourses D and E. This is the best place to park if you are traveling with American Airlines, Qatar Airways, British Airways or JetBlue, depending on the airport. Flamingo Garage serves the EJ concourses and is the best place to park if you’re flying on all other airlines, including Delta or Southwest.

If you park in one of the garages, expect to pay $2 every 20 minutes. If your car is parked for more than 2 hours and 40 minutes, you will be charged the maximum daily rate of $17, depending on the airport. Your car can stay in the garage for up to 60 days, unless “no overnight” is indicated. After 60 days, your car will be towed.

You can pay for parking at the MIA with cash, checks (drawn on US banks), American Express Travelers Checks, and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover). You can also use SunPass Plus.

To find the car park closest to your terminalvisit the MIA website.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport has three garages and an overflow lot that opens at peak times during holidays or when the garages are full (signs and workers lead you there). There is a cell phone parking lot where people can park for free while waiting to pick someone up from the airport. FLL generally has curbside valet parking, but it is temporarily suspended.

If you park on Level 2 of the Hibiscus Garage or Level 1 of the Palm Garage, it costs $3 per hour, with a maximum of $36 per day. If you park on levels 3-7 of the Hibiscus Garage, levels 2-4 of the Palm Garage, and levels 7-9 of the Cypress Garage, it costs $3 per hour, with a maximum of $15 per day.

If you end up having to park in the overflow parking lot, expect to pay $10.

You can pay for FLL parking with cash, check (starter checks are not accepted), and credit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, and Diner’s Club). You can also use SunPass Plus.

POINT: Use the FLL app to see real-time parking availability and to help locate your car if you forget where you parked.

To find the car park closest to your terminalvisit the FLL website.

Miami Herald editor Anna Jean Kaiser contributed to this report.

This story was originally published December 9, 2021 06:00.

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There’s never a dull moment in Florida – and Michelle covers it as a Realtime/Breaking News reporter for the Miami Herald. She graduated with honors from Florida International University, where she served as editor of Student Media PantherNOW. Previously, she worked as a news editor at WSVN Channel 7 and was a 2020-2021 Poynter-Koch Media & Journalism Fellow.

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