What will it take for travel to get restarted again?

Maraid is encouraged by the travel bubble with New Zealand opening up and wonders what needs to happen before we can travel to other parts of the world.


Q. Maraid
It is really encouraging that Jacinda Ardern has enabled the trans-Tasman bubble to be opened and my husband and I might consider a trip to the Shaky Isles in future if it seems that we are unable to travel anywhere else for some time. However, we would be more interested in travelling further abroad if it was going to be possible.

What needs to happen for Australians to travel more freely? It seems like the rest of the world is doing a pretty good job of getting vaccinated, although Australia seems to be lagging well behind. Is it likely that international travel will open up by sometime this year, or are we better off taking what we can get by travelling to New Zealand?

Read more: Ardern announces trans-Tasman travel bubble

A. There are varying opinions on what will be required to get international travel going again right around the world.

Aviation strategy firm SimpliFlying has released a white paper that proposes a framework for restarting travel that includes seven recommendations.

The first of those concerns countering fears that flights are the leading spreader of the disease. The paper explains that while flights are transporting people that may have the virus, there is very limited transmission of the virus on flights.

Read more: How the pandemic has changed travel trends

Border re-openings also need to happen alongside increasing vaccinations and dropping COVID case rates.

While Australia is struggling on the vaccination front, our low case numbers do make us an attractive target for potential travel bubbles. In other places around the world the vaccination progress is going well and COVID case numbers are dropping in conjunction with this.

There will also be a trigger at which point ‘green routes’ can be established. The SimpliFlying white paper puts forward a 50-50 proposal, which it explains means 50 per cent of adults are vaccinated while new COVID cases are below 50 in every 100,000 people, which is the official Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) definition of a country being low or medium risk.

Read more: Travel guru predicts increased wanderlust

Other things that will need to happen, according to the industry white paper, are the adoption of a common health pass standard and airlines promoting widespread vaccine advocacy.

“The industry should treat pandemics like it does sustainability, with a long-term plan and strategy,” the paper explains.

When do you expect international travel to all parts of the world to restart? Did you ever imagine we would go so long without being able to travel internationally?

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Written by Ben



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