Since early 2020, the world has been in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic. With industries brought to a standstill and millions of people contracting the virus, we’ve been forced to change the way we live, work and socialise. While every sector has been impacted by coronavirus, the travel industry has been one of the hardest hit.
In a bid to contain the virus, international travel has been either banned or restricted for much of the year. Fortunately, we are finding new ways to cope with the challenges COVID-19 brings. While the pandemic is still on-going, new safety measures are enabling people to adapt to a ‘new normal’.
How is Travel Changing?
The industry is evolving to adapt to the increased risk of COVID-19 presents. Thus far, some of the changes we’re seeing include:
Prior to COVID-19, you could arrive in virtually any destination in the world and begin exploring the region straight away. If you’re travelling in 2020, however, you may have to quarantine upon your arrival. Although this will depend on where you’re travelling from and to, quarantine minimal times can vary from seven to 14 days.
In a bid to reduce the number of people who need to quarantine upon arriving in a new country, some governments have introduced air bridges. When an air bridge is in place, you can travel between the two destinations without needing to quarantine. However, air bridges can be changed at any time, so there’s no guarantee it will still be in place when it’s time to embark on your return journey.
Being tested for COVID-19 prior to travelling can reduce the need to quarantine. As tests have become more widely available, you can now arrange a PCR test before you travel internationally. Many countries are now requiring visitors to present a negative test result in order to be permitted entry, as this can prevent the spread of the virus. With fast turnaround times, it’s likely that this type of testing will be one of the most effective ways to fully reopen the industry.
Increased Cost of Travel Insurance
As COVID-19 is relatively easy to contract, people of all ages are being struck by the virus. This makes it difficult to predict who is most likely to be affected. As a result, the cost of travel insurance could increase significantly. If you want to obtain a policy that includes cover for coronavirus, you should expect to pay more than you’re used to.
Perhaps surprisingly, many people believe that COVID-19 will cause a surge in the demand for international transport. As the industry continues to recover and people feel more confident about travelling safely, they’ll be eager to explore the world once again and escape the confinement of lockdown restrictions.
Dealing with COVID-19
Companies are pulling out all the stops in an attempt to limit the economic impact of COVID-19. From improved sanitation to flexible bookings, the on-going pandemic is likely to have long-lasting effects on the travel industry. As Europe prepares for a second wave of the virus, just how long the recovery will take remains to be seen.