PORTLAND, Ore. — With the omicron variant now in the Northwest, it brings a new concern for travelers. Deputy Health Officer with Multnomah County, Dr. Ann Loeffler, said it's important for people to follow the same safety guidelines they have been.
"Keep your mask on, keep your hands clean and keep your distance and we'll get through this," Loeffler said.
Dr. Loeffler said it's likely to be a few months before health officials know more about the new variant. However, officials think it spreads twice as fast as Delta, but there is encouraging news. Dr. Loeffler said most of the cases appear to be mild.
"Honestly, if this variant turns out to be super mild like a cold, I don't think it will change anything we do," Dr. Loeffler said.
At Portland International Airport, Cathy is traveling to Florida. She said she's a bit anxious about the new variant.
"I'm wearing the K95 mask now," Cathy said. "I'm just really good about limiting my exposure. I'm going to visit a sister that's ill. I really need to be careful with that."
Some travelers said we've been doing this for almost two years now and with experience comes ease.
"As long as everyone is wearing a mask, staying a safe distance apart, it should be alright," Logan said.
There are some restriction changes for travelers because of the omicron variant. All international travelers are required to get tested within one day of arriving in the United States. People will have to show negative test results before they get on a flight. This rule applies regardless of vaccination status.