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From vacation to isolation: Arkansan struggles with COVID testing for travel

Now two rescheduled flights and days after he planned to be back home on St. Kitts Island, he's positively hoping for a negative COVID test result.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Record-high COVID-19 cases continue to put strain on travel everywhere. And with this new wave, comes a new hurdle of getting COVID tests back in time for your next destination - if it requires one.

Arkansas native Will Tucker knows that struggle all too well as his trip back home for the holidays has lasted much longer than the holidays.

"I came [to Little Rock] to, you know, just visit family for the holidays, and have been kind of trapped here ever since," Tucker said.

After getting infected with COVID, his Little Rock vacation quickly turned into isolation.

"I came up here to do things and go see people, but you know, I've been stuck inside and everybody else has COVID too," Tucker added.

Now two rescheduled flights and days after he planned to be back home on St. Kitts Island, he's positively hoping for a negative COVID test result Tuesday.

"If it's negative, I'll get on a plane tomorrow. If it's positive, then just keep testing and hope for the best," he said.

But healthy herself, the island's negative testing travel requirement didn't stop Tucker's mom from continuing her pre-planned vacation to the island, only now she's visiting his home -- without him.

"You only get one time to go see your child living in the Caribbean... I really do hope they're able to get on the flight tomorrow. I'll go the whole week without seeing them if they don't get on the plane this week," Tucker's mom Karen Clark said.

But above all else, both mom and son say that they are just thankful for their health.

After battling COVID, Tucker shared, "I'm back to 100%. So, I feel good about that. It's just the struggle to get that negative test back."

But if you are still able to make that flight, airport managers advise all passengers to follow proper precautions and keep masks on -- both in the terminal and on the airplane.

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