When the Covid outbreak started at the end of 2019 in China, the average Joe on the street could not have predicted how quickly, and for how long, the virus would affect us. Now, almost 18 months after the first case of Covid was registered, the rollout of vaccination programmes around the world gives us hope that some semblance of normality can return.
However, the vaccination programme is not a silver bullet out of the pandemic. It will take a while for the number of global vaccinations achieved to be at a level that means that Covid cannot take such a hold over our lives again. That means that the future of travel for the next year at least will be a little different — even though we are coming into a post-Covid world. Here, we look at what the future of travel will look like — why test travel packages from companies like MedicSpot will still be needed and why flexibility will continue to be common in any holiday bookings.
Wearing a mask
Wearing a mask while you travel will be a mainstay of future travel in a post-Covid world. Not only has it been seen to help lower transmission, when used alongside other social distancing measures, wearing a mask has become a habit for so many now. The result is that people will want to continue wearing masks in future to ensure that this type of pandemic does not occur again. And, due to the close proximity that many of travel in — either by plane, train or boat — wearing a mask is a way to protect yourself from picking up any other illnesses while travelling abroad.
Testing will be with us for a while — without a doubt. While the vaccination programme will help reduce numbers drastically, testing is a way to keep a handle on any new outbreaks infiltrating a country through foreign travel. Governments will want to protect their population and economy as best they can and one way of doing that is to ensure that no new Covid infections come into the country. As a result, you can expect to be rquired to provide a negative PCR test before entering a country for a long while yet.
While border forces and airports start to get to grips with mass international travel starting again, you can probably expect long queues at airports and checks when travelling. The reason being is that checking individual passports and papers is going to take that much longer as borders need to ensure that each passenger is complying with their entry or exit rules.
People can help this scenario though by making sure that they do comply with the rules in the first place. It is those that don’t who will really start to hold up the lines when entering a new country.
Passports that say whether a person has had a vaccination or not look increasingly likely the world over. While no country has introduced them yet, the UK, for example, has updated its NHS app so that it can show whether a person has had a vaccination or not.
As vaccination programmes start to accelerate, with more and more people wanting to travel internationally, Governments are weighing up whether vaccine passports are a good idea or not. Some argue that they hinder civil liberties while others see them as a practical way to aid foreign travel.
Perhaps one of the things that may be a positive outcome from the pandemic is the increased flexibility that the travel industry builds into their tickets and bookings.
When infection numbers were high and people were being warned off travelling, the travel industry had to start selling their holiday and flights with free changes and cancellations inbuilt. In the past, they would have simply charged customers who wanted to amend a booking or customers who needed to cancel a holiday.
It looks like uncertainty will be something we have to deal with when planning for the future for a little while yet, so only purchasing tickets with free flexible options included is advisable.
Travelling in a post-Covid world
Travelling used to be something that huge numbers of us took for granted. Jumping on a plane at a drop of a hat and heading off if we had a spare weekend was something that we probably did not take advantage of often enough.
Now, it takes a little more planning and adherence to strict rules laid out by governments the world over. However, through testing and vaccinations, travel is at least possible again. It may take a little longer and require forethought, but getting away from it all should be something many of us can enjoy again with less and less uncertainty in the very near future.