Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, travel has been a complete mess. Given that travel restrictions are an important part of containing the spread of infectious disease, this makes sense. And at first, most people did stay put, avoiding air travel and remaining in their homes (or second homes).
But soon after that, a quick scroll through Instagram would show people on vacation on the beach with captions like “don’t worry, we’re social distancing!” or a snap of a quaint small town Main Street with the hashtag “#escapefromthecity.” At one point, it felt like half the country was living their best lives in impossibly beautiful locations, while the rest of us remained at home, staring at the same walls for months on end, and getting decked out in PPE every time we left our home.
That’s all to say that travel during the pandemic has been confusing. Guidelines are constantly changing on state and federal levels, and it can be hard to keep up, even for those who are used to traveling for a living. If you need some assistance keeping track of everything, you may be interested in United Airlines’ new interactive map—a resource to help us navigate the variety of evolving COVID travel restrictions. Here’s what you need to know.
How to use United’s interactive map
The interactive, color-coded map is available both on United’s website, as well as their mobile app, and is designed to indicate whether a destination is closed, partially open, or fully open for travel, and will note whether any tests or self-quarantining is required for travel to that spot.
There are also special filters allowing users to see the local regulations in a certain area, including those involving social distancing and mask enforcement. Another filter displays information on which hotels, restaurants, and other establishments are open to the public.
Regardless of whether you’re actually flying with United (or any other airline) any time soon, the map is an easy-to-use updated resource on COVID travel information.