The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the global tourist industry with a decline in travel in virtually every country. According to the Office of National Statistics, travel in the UK fell 98.3% in February to April 2020, and this was at the beginning of the outbreak. Eventually, the UNWTO declared 100% of global destinations have travel restrictions enforced due to the virus.
But now, as the worst of the pandemic is behind us, it looks like things are slowly getting back to normal and people are getting hopeful to travel again. Since we published our article entitled ‘UK and US Want to Resume Travel as Soon as Possible’, normal travel has resumed between the two countries. Indeed, many countries have opened up their borders and are welcoming back international travellers. Yet, travel has undeniably changed.
So, what will travel in the new normal look like? How will things be different? Let’s look at some of the important things to consider.
As international borders have opened, it is exciting to soon be able to travel again, but the ‘new normal’ will still be something we must all get accustomed to. If travel is just within a local country, there will most likely still be minimum health standards to follow, such as mask obligations (mandatory or not), use of hand sanitizers in establishments, social distancing and perhaps some contact tracing apps.
If travel will be between different countries, it would be prudent to be prepared and make sure to bring important health documents, like proof of vaccinations, health declaration forms, insurance for medical expenses, among others.
Be sure to check the country’s visa status and quarantine protocols if necessary, as well as COVID-19 vaccine requirements before departing as each country is different. For example, the UK currently has no Covid-related restrictions on international travel and tourists are no longer required to fill out Passenger Locator Forms prior to arriving.
Traveling is exciting, and the method of travel is a big part of the excitement. Different options are available for each type of adventure. Flights are for far destinations and reaching those remote places in a short span of time. But if you like to make the journey towards your destination part of the adventure itself, then trains and cruises might be for you. Trains are a great way to relax and enjoy the scenery of land, while cruises are a way to enjoy luxury on the ocean. In fact, there’s been an uptick in cruises and Explora Cruises is proof that luxury travel is on its way back, with a selection of different international destinations such as the United Kingdom, Mediterranean, and the Caribbean. Despite the issues faced during the beginning of the pandemic, cruise travellers are confident of their health and safety on board due to the strict health protocols in place, such as complete COVID-19 vaccinations and the need to wear masks onboard for both guests and staff alike.
Prepare for Traffic
With more and more destinations opening up, the desire to get out and travel this summer is understandable, especially since most were stuck indoors for the past two years. But be prepared for the passenger traffic congestion that is being predicted across Europe’s airports. According to Lufthansa Group chief operating officer, “Traffic is much more concentrated at weekends. We are struggling with the peaks [which] are almost as high as pre-Covid.” With the combination of leisure travel, post-Covid, and Brexit – extremely heavy traffic this summer will be part of the ‘new normal’. But don’t fret, this traffic in the new normal is a welcomed one, as it indicates that we are slowly moving past the isolation that the pandemic has imposed on everyone.
The worst of the pandemic is behind us, and the future is a lot safer, which means we can now enjoy leisure travel once again, and for the years to come. We hope these suggestions will help you, and for more content on travel please visit us here at eWorldNews again!