A local travel agency “overwhelmed” with business

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Wednesday that mask mandates will be extended through May 3 on airplanes and public transportation. This comes as the journey begins to pick up speed again.

Some travel agencies are overwhelmed with all the business they receive, as many who have planned a trip in the past 2 years are planning to travel this summer. This, combined with the normal travel season, has created bottlenecks in rescheduling travel.

“We have 3 years of travelers trying to enjoy a year of tours and cruises,” said Charles Turner, president of Turner Travel in Harrisonburg. “We are overwhelmed.”

He has his hands full of customers booking trips this summer. If you are traveling abroad, the process for permission to enter another country is extremely tedious with the pandemic.

“One of the problems, and it is a serious problem, is that the entry requirements for each country in Europe are different. We have websites where we check entry requirements, but they quote government documents which are sometimes literally translated into English and you cannot understand what they are saying,” Turner said.

Turner said one thing that is trying to be done is to remove testing requirements for those who are fully vaccinated or boosted.

“The American Society of Travel Advisors of 140 other organizations have asked the CDC and the White House to remove this requirement for fully vaccinated passengers,” Turner said.

In his 56 years with the company, Turner said it was one of the hardest things he had to deal with.

Turner also said that many people decide to change their travel plans and travel to the United States.

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Willie R. Golden