(WPRI) — COVID-19 restrictions are top of mind for Southern New England tourist destinations ahead of Labor Day weekend.
Due to the surge in cases across the country, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging unvaccinated Americans not to travel for the holiday.
“First and foremost, if you are unvaccinated, we would recommend not traveling,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a White House COVID-19 Response Team Briefing on Tuesday.
Walensky said travel should be acceptable for vaccinated Americans as long as mask-wearing and social distancing rules are followed, but people should weigh their own risks.
This comes as town councilors on Block Island are set to discuss and act on an emergency ordinance related to a spike in cases.
The New Shoreham Town Council is holding a work session at 7 p.m. Wednesday where they will take up an emergency order meant to protect residents and visitors to Block Island from “unforeseen circumstance of a large spike in COVID cases” as reported by the Block Island Medical Center.
Block Island previously attempted, but later backed away from imposing a mask mandate earlier this summer. Unlike officials in Provincetown, Mass., who went forward with a mask mandate amid a spike in cases.
As of Tuesday, Provincetown dropped the mask mandate and replaced it with an advisory.
The comments come as the CDC also warns that the vaccine’s effectiveness may weaken over time.
“It is our own data as well as international data that had led us to be concerned that the waning we’re seeing for infection will soon lead to waning that we would see for hospitalizations, severe disease, things like that, which is why it’s so critical now to plan ahead to remain ahead of the virus,” Walensky said.
The Biden administration is preparing to roll out COVID-19 booster shots later this month, pending approval from a CDC advisory panel.