With the current Covid-19 pandemic showing no signs of stopping any time soon, most countries all around the world have been left devastated. Various industries have taken a nosedive, and one of the most hugely affected industries is travel and tourism. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, over $2 trillion worth of revenue and around 75 million jobs could be lost around the world if the pandemic will continue to get worse for the next few months.
The global economy really suffered heavy losses, and suffice to say, the world will never be the same even after the pandemic is gone. As far as travel goes, there will be some major changes in the way people travel from place to place, and some of these expected changes are as follows:
1. You will most likely travel by trains
To be honest, it is not easy to tell exactly when the travel industry will recover. But once it manages to do so, it will start by stages, and traveling from one area to another will vary depending on the location. Most likely, domestic travel will recover since people will not have to deal with border controls. In other words, most countries will allow travel through trains as the first option.
Besides, trains are a more environment-friendly option. It means that once lockdowns are lifted, most people will opt to travel via trains since they are easier and more hassle-free.
2. You will need to bring other documents than just a passport when traveling
Several countries will try to refuse entry for international travelers, especially if they come from an outbreak hotspot. However, if you can bring a certificate of immunity indicating that you have already recovered from the disease or have received a vaccination, then entering a foreign country might be a bit easier. For example, if you are an international traveler who wants to travel to the US, then you will need to carry more than just a passport. With the recent Covid-19 US statistic showing hundreds of thousands of infected individuals in the US, it will not be possible to visit the US as of now.
However, once the Covid-19 pandemic has subsided, visiting the country (and several other countries as well), will be limited. Most likely, you will need a temporary Visa as well as more documentation just to enter their borders. This can be quite a hassle, and this is where the online ESTA Visa application service from https://usaestaonline.com/ enters the picture. Through this service, you can travel to the US without a Visa at all. You just must secure an ESTA for that.
Do take note, however, that you can only apply for an ESTA if you belong to a country which belongs to the Visa Waiver Program. Additionally, your visit to the US should only be for leisure or business purposes, and that visit should not last longer than 90 days.
3. Immigration queues might be longer
Countries like China, Singapore, and South Korea have experienced heavy damages due to Covid-19, and now that they are starting to experience a much better recovery rate, they are now more worried about infections from foreign sources.
It is for this reason why Korea requires all travelers who came from the US and the UK to undergo isolation for two weeks, even though their test results came out negative. Meanwhile, those who do not have permanent residency will be sent to isolation wards.
That said, even though lockdowns are lifted, and travels are back to normal operations, most countries will continue mandatory testing at their borders. This means that you will expect even more troublesome immigration queues. If you believe that the JFK immigration control was bad, then it would get even worse since you will have to deal with longer lines, undergo a swab test, then wait for your results to come out.
4. Getting sick would mean you will not be able to travel
Even individuals who have completely recovered from the disease and managed to build up immunity may not be able to travel if they experience a mild illness like a cold. With how the world is implementing social distancing, it might be hard to travel if you have a cold or any flu-like symptoms. Most people will be wary of you if you have a cough or cold while onboard a plane, and the social stigma this brings will surely discourage most people to even travel.
Better Days to Come
Despite the huge impact that the pandemic has brought upon us, there is still a glimmer of hope that it will dissipate sometime soon. China, which is the source of the pandemic, reports that they already have the pandemic under control and that some restrictions are being lifted. This means that they are already experiencing early signs of recovery.
Be that as it may, you can still expect changes to the way people travel even when the pandemic has completely disappeared. And as a traveler, these are changes that you will have to embrace and adapt to anytime soon.