Seattle is one of the places on the planet any adventure seeker would like to check on their bucket list. However, it is not spared by the notorious virus ravaging every part of the world.
The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) made a lot of countries and cities turn back tourists and visitors alike. With the availability of vaccines and progress in testing, many of these countries and cities have reopened their border for visitors.
Is Seattle open for tourists/visitors?
Yes. The city is allowing entrance for visitors. This is in large part due to its vaccination rate. According to the King County authority, the vaccination rate in the seaport city is about 84%. As much as this is commendable, the recent emergence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant has gotten health authorities on their toes again.
Experts in the area confirmed that Omicron is causing a spike in local COVID cases. About 80% of new cases were linked to the variant.
Speaking on the recent surge, Jeffrey Duchin, an official of the King County exclaimed; “The Omicron outbreak we’ve been talking about is no longer theoretical, it’s real.” “It’s here and it’s moving fast”.
COVID-19 guidelines for tourists/travelers in Seattle
King County mandates people 12 years and older to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or negative test result before being allowed to certain indoor and outdoor events. For clarification, locations that require this document include:
- Restaurants and bars
- Music venues
- Movie theatres
- Sports events
- Outdoor events with more than 500 people
Travelers and residents aged 5 and above are also required to wear masks during outdoor events or in indoor public gatherings such as shopping at a grocery.
Travelers who are not fully vaccinated are expected to follow the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations which advised getting a viral test 1-3 days before your trip. Non-US residents are also required to always check the travel requirements as specified by the health agency. Presently, proof of vaccination or negative test no more than 1 day before travel is required.
Signs of Omicron COVID-19 variant
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) listed cough, fatigue, and congestion/running nose as the most commonly reported symptoms of viral infection.
5 mistakes to avoid when planning travel to Seattle
Travelers planning to visit Seattle should avoid these mistakes:
- Not booking hotel ahead or trying to cut cost
Hotels in the city of Seattle are usually filled up. Travelers who delay booking ahead might have to spend more. Some travelers while trying to cut costs may decide to instead rent a hotel in the suburbs. This may in the end ruin the travel experience. So, always check out available hotels in the city ahead of time, it is possible to get cheaper ones if booked ahead.
- Impromptu Planning
Except if just visiting for an emergency conference or business meeting, it is advisable to plan your trip to Seattle at least one week before departure. You can book a car rental service at Seattle airport to convey yourself and your luggage to your hotel and around the city.
- Commuting only by car
As much as it is comfortable to move around in a car, for good sightseeing, visiting some places with a bike is not bad. It makes the experience more fun.
- Not studying the weather
Check the weather forecast for when you are due to arrive in Seattle. Also, it is worthy to note that the weather in the city in January although might be bearable for locals, many visitors find it extremely cold. Get yourself prepared.
- Visiting most tourist centers and markets on weekends
Tourists centers and markets in Seattle especially places like Pike Place Market are extremely crowded on weekends. If possible, ensure your schedule avoid visiting on such days. The experience is more fun when there are lesser people around.
5 notable places to visit in Seattle
Places you don’t want to miss on your visit to Seattle include:
Movies and adverts featuring Seattle are likely to have displayed this tourist attraction. Built in 1961 ahead of the scheduled World Fair hosted by Seattle, the Space Needle is a sight to consider beholding.
Pacific Science Center
For travelers with an interest in nature and science, the Pacific Science Center is worth considering. The museum here is great for kids, especially the display of films documenting the processes of nature such as the eruption of Mount St. Helens.
For lovers of Starbucks coffee, drinking from the source wouldn’t be bad. However, it is worthy to be warned that the queue in this place is usually long.
Klondike Gold Rush Museum
This is a free museum enriched with the stories of the gold rush in Seattle. Visitors can also enjoy the story of the 1897-1898 stampede to the Yukon goldfields here.
After the Great Fire of 1889, Seattle City planners rebuilt on top of the old. The underground tour is not just adventurous but also filled with lots of corny jokes.