In late 2019 a pandemic hit China and now the rest of the world, COVID-19. We are all stuck at home in an attempt to try and stop the spread of the virus. Certain rules have been implemented to enforce social distancing. And one of these rules is a ban on travel. We can no longer travel around the globe to see new places. And even after this pandemic is over I think that travel will be changed for quite a few years. Even when the travel bans have been lifted everything will be different.
Changes when travelling
Here are a few ways I think travel will be affected.
- Immigration and security lines will be much longer
After the pandemic is over, countries will be concerned about more COVID-19 cases being spread from travellers coming from outside the country. It makes sense that they would be holding strict screenings, asking questions and using other methods of testing to check if travellers are infected before they can enter the country. The results for these tests may take a long time to be processed.
- Self-quarantine after entry into country
Even once you are let into the country you may still have to self-isolate, social distance, wear masks and follow that country’s overall guidelines.
These restrictions will likely ruin the supposedly fun and relaxing vacation and make any travel
- Countries recovery time will vary
Some countries may take longer to recover from this time of crisis. Each country is going to recover and open its borders on its own time. Some countries in Europe like the UK or Italy may take a long time to recover because they were hit so hard while some like Greenland may take less.
- Domestic travel will open first
Before anyone can go on a plane we have to start with the road. People will start going on road/train trips way before anyone can board a plane. Since people are much farther apart when they are in the car or on a train it will be much easier to control and contain the spread of the virus.
Even this summer you will see a lot of cars and RVs on the road because everyone wants to travel but are not willing to take a plane.
- There may be “travel seasons”
Governments may have to turn restrictions on and off to keep demands on their healthcare systems manageable. You could book flights a few months ahead only to find out that the borders are closed because of high demand.
This would force everyone to travel during the “on” seasons which will make everything crazy and the rules even harder to enforce.
- You will pack completely differently
It may seem like a joke but people may use Lysol to wipe down their chair before the flight. Along with hand sanitizer and other disinfectants, you will probably see more people wearing masks while travelling.
Personally, I would bring a mask and some hand sanitizer but I wouldn’t use them unless it is really busy or necessary.
- You will need to prove your immunity
Normally, you need your passport to travel internationally but most countries won’t allow travel unless you have proof of being vaccinated (once a vaccine is available) or have recovered from COVID-19. This could be in the form of a certificate, wristband, extension of your passport etc.
These forms of verification could be issued by the World Health Organization or even from the government itself.
- Airlines could start advertising their air quality
Air Canada, United, WestJet. What air filter do they use in their aircraft? Which model has the best air quality?
You probably have no idea, but once we can get in the air again all the airlines will be advertising about the different filtration systems in the planes. And maybe you will prioritize air quality and safety over price or rewards points when you book your next flight.
Even now airlines/airports are advertising about how they are keeping their passengers and crew/staff safe. For example, Air Canada is advertising its new CleanCare+ program which includes masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and bottled water for employees and customers, temperature checks, sanitization including the cabin, equipment and other frequently touched surfaces and a HEPA filtration system.
Another example is airports are now implementing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As required by the government some airports are conducting a health check on all passengers before allowing them onto the plane.
Anyone who has symptoms of COVID will have to either wait 14 days before they can fly or present a certificate that indicates that the symptoms are not related to coronavirus. It is also mandatory that everyone at the airport is wearing a mask (non-surgical).
And if anyone from your flight has been tested positive it would be listed on the government’s website.
After you get to your destination
The impact of COVID will not be just limited to flights and the airport experience. Likely your experience at a hotel or resort could be very different as well.
I think that activities like going to the pool or playing sports like volleyball or golf will be massively changed. The overall atmosphere of the pool/game will be different. Everyone will be cautious and less focused on the whole purpose of going to the resort, relaxation and fun.
On the other hand, I think activities like eating will stay almost untouched because people can just grab the food and find somewhere to eat by themselves.
Overall, this pandemic has made a large impact on our lives and a huge impact on travel. Once this outbreak is over the effects on the travel industry won’t.