Family shares expensive lesson learned with travel during pandemic

Local

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – As school lets out for summer, many families are planning to head out of town on summer vacation.

One Tri-state family was hoping for the trip of a lifetime, but it turned out to be anything but.

They say they thought they were in compliance with Hawaii’s strict guidelines. But despite providing negative test results as well as their COVID vaccination cards, they were turned away.

“The worst part about it is it was my daughter’s senior trip and and I mean, it broke my heart because I mean, she is she’s crying at the airport, and it was just it was very frustrating,” said Eric Brackett.

Their daughter was also meant to experience her first surf lesson, not to mention the other family excursions which were already booked.

Dr. Eric Brackett, a family physician in Evansville and his wife Deanna say they followed the guidelines listed on Hawaii’s COVID-19 portal.

The family of five uploaded their negative COVID tests, 72 hours in advance, as required. But when they arrived – they were turned away and told that they did not test with a trusted Hawaii lab partner. Hawaii’s website does have a list of trusted partners and the Brackett’s admit that it was their mistake in not recognizing it. But once they arrived at the airport they didn’t have many options.

“You are either quarantining for ten days on the island you arrive on, or you’re traveling back to the U.S. to either retest or go home,” said Deanna Brackett.

The Brackett family is also fully-vaccinated and hoped that showing each of their vaccination cards would help.

“Is that if if you got your vaccination on Hawaii, and you finished your vaccination series there, that, that you can travel between the islands, but the thing is, but it doesn’t apply to getting your vaccination in the states,” said Eric Brackett.

He says there needs to be a standard policy when traveling within the U.S.

“If we could adopt that, as a nation across every state as far as lifting restrictions, or at least standardizing some of these things, you know, make it more advantageous to get more people vaccinated.”

The family saying they wanted to share their story to help others avoid the disappointment and thousands of dollars wasted in travel costs.

There is some good news for the Brackett family as they tell us they have booked a trip for later this summer. They’ll be heading to Costa Rica – where you don’t have to be tested to enter.

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