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What will international travel after coronavirus look like?

What will travel look like after coronavirus? As vaccination rollouts speed up around the world, we answer all the important questions about what travel in a post-coronavirus world might look like.

International travel to and from the UK is currently severely restricted. It is important to always keep up to date with official coronavirus travel restrictions.

Travel habits may change

It is likely that after the threat of coronavirus is diminished, there will be a big change in the way that people travel. Many smaller tourism businesses have found it difficult to stay open during a time when international travel is severely restricted and have had to close. There has also been a backlash in many countries where “over-tourism” is considered to be a problem, meaning that once travel has resumed people, local resistance to traditional mass-tourism may result in many travellers instead looking for more local, authentic experiences when travelling abroad.

Being cooped up inside small flats in cities could also encourage people to take more nature or adventure trips, with trends such as hiking holidays, bikepacking and van travel predicted to become increasingly popular.

“Travel fear” could mean more planning

“Travel fear” after the pandemic means that planning and prevention could become a priority for travellers. A study in China made after the initial outbreak of coronavirus drew the conclusion that many people were afraid to travel, even when there was no longer a threat of COVID-19.

Travellers will also probably be looking for more security and flexibility when they travel, particularly after booking holidays and flights over the past year only to have them cancelled later. Flexibility in terms of bookings and reservations is likely to be a focal point.

Travel after coronavirus could have more restrictions

Tech solutions may allow ease of travel

When it comes to international travel, vaccinations and testing are likely to play a big part in giving people security when going abroad.

Faster testing

More accurate and faster testing with increased efficiency could allow more movement while still keeping the threat of COVID-19 low. Many countries have introduced measures requiring testing before arrival, and might even allow people to skip quarantine if they come from low-risk areas.

Vaccination certificates

After over a year of uncertainty over travel, with restrictions being put in place without notice, vaccinations are bringing a feeling of trust and control to travellers. Many countries popular with British tourists, such as Cyprus, Greece and Portugal are suggesting that they will allow vaccinated Brits to travel without quarantine this summer. Use of a vaccination certificate system or app will allow people to prove if they have been vaccinated or not and therefore allow them more ease of travel.

Countries that had a lower impact could open up first

Some countries have had low coronavirus transmission rates due to a combination of government action and other factors. As vaccination rates increase around the world, these countries could have a head start in ensuring that travellers will be safe when they go on holiday.

This includes:

  • Australia

  • New Zealand

  • Vietnam

Some countries might open up for travel before others

Countries without restrictions could still have a high risk

Although other countries have not imposed restrictions (apart from mandatory coronavirus testing on arrival), it may not be wise as they have reported high levels of coronavirus infections.

Some of these countries include:

  • Mexico

  • Brazil

  • South Africa

Countries with high vaccination rates could be safer

Some countries have managed to vaccinate large parts of their population at a faster rate than others. This could also be an important factor for travel after covid, with the countries that reach “herd immunity” faster opening up to tourists faster as well.

Countries with the most people vaccinated by percentage of the population:

  • Israel

  • Chile

  • Seychelles

  • United Arab Emirates

  • Cayman Islands

  • Maldives

According to Jonas Nilsen, MD and co-founder of Practio, “although there are no restrictions for travellers entering countries such as Mexico or Brazil, it is definitely not a good idea to travel there. Low vaccination rates and a slow vaccine rollout probably means that these countries will continue being risky destinations in the future. Some small island nations, such as Seychelles, the Cayman Islands and the Maldives have managed to vaccinate a large part of their populations, which could give them a head start in attracting tourists when international travel returns.”

It is possible that travel will never go back to normal

According to many scientists, it’s possible that new COVID-19 variants mean that coronavirus will never be eradicated. This means that new solutions will have to be found in order to allow people to travel again.

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