As parts of Europe struggle through a fourth wave of COVID-19, it might begin to put a dampener on the thoughts people are having about international travel.
After all, how are you going to know whether the destination you visit is safe enough in terms of its vaccination rates and COVID risks.
Well, fortunately an analytics company has already started thinking about this and created a Pandemic Travel Risk Index for prospective travellers.
The Pandemic Travel Risk Index has been designed by data and analytics consultancy firm Decision Inc and aims to guide Australian travellers to the destinations that are a ‘safer bet’ when deciding on a destination.
The index analyses a host of factors including quarantine stringency, vaccination rates, approved vaccines and case number trends across the top 10 most popular Australian tourist spots.
The index currently has Canada, New Zealand and Japan determined as the safest bets to travel with a level of normalcy, while Fiji is still a possibility.
The index also has Thailand as a tourism spot to continue to avoid for now due to a low vaccination rate, high case numbers and mid-level stringency measures.
The Decision Inc website also allows users to scroll over a country on the map and see up-to-date COVID-19 information, the company chief executive Aiden Heke explained.
“While the Australian government has been clear recently in its intent to open our borders and reduce the impact of quarantine on arrival back on our shores, the same doesn’t necessarily hold true of our most popular travel destinations,” Mr Heke said.
“We all want to know our prospects of remaining healthy are as good or better at our destination than where we left, and Australia’s prospects for COVID-19 economic recovery is trending the right way.
“With the Delta variant continuing to wreak havoc in some regions, travellers need to make educated choices if they are to enjoy their trip or undertake business without potentially looking at getting unavailable hospital bed treatment or having to quarantine for an extended period, even if double vaccinated.”
The data analysed includes:
- the approved vaccines in each country, an indicator of which borders are likely to allow our approved vaccines through customs
- the vaccination rates in each country
- current case rates and whether they’re declining or trending upwards
- quarantine policy by country.
According to the index, the United Kingdom, despite a clear mandate from government to ‘live with COVID’ and with relatively few restrictions on the ground, has seen cases spiral to 661 new cases per million and is not recommended for travel.
And Singapore, despite topping the vaccination rates of analysed countries, has seen cases increase to 610 per million which, among a high-density population, poses risks to travellers and has seen lockdown measures be put in place there once again.
“Unpredictability is a constant reality of living in a world still experiencing a pandemic, even with vaccine availability increasing across the world,” said Mr Heke.
“But borders are open, and planes are set to take off again. It’s clear that people want to travel once again, if not for business or leisure then to visit loved ones they haven’t seen in two years. They just need to weigh the risks based on the available data.”
How are you assessing whether it is safe to travel to your desired destination? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?
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