The COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis has changed and devastated all of our worlds in an instant in unimaginable ways. The scale of the affected sectors and lives of people in the entire nations demands massive attention. Everyone have been ordered to stay at home. It has greatly impacted all aspect of life, this including the travel industry. It has brought travel and tourism to a near halt. I guess, the world will never be the same.
Cancellations of flights, closing of borders, deserted airports, hotels being converted to hospitals, these are just some of the felt drastic effects of this Coronavirus pandemic in traveling.
But after months of strict quarantines and lock downs, industries are starting to reopen. People have started to go out again. But the virus is still here. It is still infecting people, killing people.
When travel does begin again, a lot of experts are saying that it will start with road trips that are not too far away from home. Domestic travel will recover first. Travel may recover in stages. Freedom to travel will vary per country and even per region. The following may be some changes that we'll see and experience once traveling starts to reopen for leisure purposes.
1. The queue at the immigration will be longer than ever before.
Without a permanent residence in a certain country, you will be sent directly to an isolation ward and may undergo quarantine period depending on the result of your health check.
2. More requirements and documents will be needed other than a passport.
Some countries will need negative PCR test result especially if you’re coming from an outbreak hotspot. You may be refused entrance unless you present a certificate of immunity that you’ve recovered from an infection or because you’ve been vaccinated (once vaccines are available).
3.Travel will have different (expensive) seasons.
According to a speculation of very influential paper from Imperial College London, governments will need to turn lockdown measures on and off in order to manage the demands on the healthcare systems. This will means that there will be specific time frame of when to travel and for how long.
4. You'll pack different things from before.
Various infection control have been advised to be followed to prevent spread and contacting of the disease. We’re being directed to wash our hands, sanitize and disinfect, wear face masks and face shields. Your carry on bag may now be packed with wet wipes, alcohol and spare masks. We may also see the relaxing of liquid carry-on restrictions as travelers will want to take more than 100ml in their flights.
5. There may be possible discrimination of the society when you’re sick.
Even by just standing around the corner and someone hears you sneeze or cough because of an allergic reaction, the looks you will get would definitely be scornful. You shouldn't get sick or even catch a cold while traveling. It will become dramatic and would create difficulties when you become sick in an alien place.
Staying at home is definitely an adjustment for all of us and has proven to be a challenging one. But if there's one thing travelers are good at it's adapting. We always find ways to cope. That booked flight in Maldives that was canceled, it has been converted to a family picnic in the backyard with a big size inflatable pool. No one is sure when will everything return to normal or will it ever return to normal. One thing is for sure, we are still alive and there are a lot of things to be grateful of. There will be opportunities to come when we can travel again soon. Keep that smile and faith in you.