This Is What We Know About Travel’s Immediate Future And What’s Shifting

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Some aspects will undoubtedly improve, but others, such as face masks and social distancing, are likely to remain.

BY KATIE MACHADO

COVID-19 vaccines are in the works, but that doesn’t guarantee travel is risk-free.

Travel is still a dangerous business for a large portion of the population, and many analysts believe it will take some time before it is deemed’safe’ for all – or at the very least, better. Travel is now improving and being altered to accommodate those that have been vaccinated, as well as to boost overall safety steps.

For those who haven’t been vaccinated, things are still pretty much the same – albeit with even more restrictions, as many countries’ travel bans remain in place. The risks could be steadily dissipating for those that have been vaccinated, completed all phases of the vaccination, and waited the required period of time afterward.

The following is a list of what has changed.

Masks are still needed and will most likely remain so for some time.

For those who have not yet been vaccinated, masks remain the only and safest protection against the virus. This has been shown to be extremely successful when paired with proper and regular hand washing as well as social distancing.

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This suggests that each of these items will be the rule for the near future, with no end date in sight. Many that have been vaccinated, in particular, would have to keep following these protocols for reasons we’ll discuss later.

Vaccines can allow you to travel, but proof will be needed.

Vaccinations can protect a person against the virus up to 95% of the time, making them a powerful tool against infection. Travelers, on the other hand, should forget about traveling without solid evidence of vaccination, whether it’s in the form of vaccination papers or a vaccination passport, both of which have been discussed.

Post-Herd Immunity Is The Safest Time To Travel

Experts believe that traveling, with or without a vaccine, will not be’safe’ until the entire planet, or the country in which an individual is traveling, has achieved herd immunity.

This ensures that the vast majority of the population has been vaccinated and is immune to the virus, reducing group spread to the point that infection risk is extremely low. Since fewer people are infected, the virus has a lower risk of mutating and becoming stronger.

Vaccines do not seem to prevent transmission at this time.

A vaccine does not prevent an individual from transmitting the virus at this point, it should be said again. There is no conclusive evidence that the vaccine protects more than the individual who is vaccinated at the time of writing, which means it can still be transmitted to people who aren’t protected.

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This is why, vaccinations or no vaccines, safety precautions must be followed as long as there are others that have not been given the opportunity to be vaccinated.

Traveling continues to pose dangers to ourselves and others.

Even with the vaccine, an individual has a 5% (or slightly higher) risk of contracting the virus. It’s still a danger, even if the symptoms are minor or nonexistent. Traveling also brings people from all over the world together in a small room, increasing the risk of infection. As a result, it’s critical to think about who’s flying, who may not be safe, and how much the risk is. As a result, it’s critical to understand who’s flying, who may or may not be safe, and how much risk is acceptable.

Some protocols are here to remain, whereas others are on their way out.

Protocols such as masking, hand-washing, and social distancing, as previously described, are likely to persist for some time. In return, items like temperature checks and negative COVID-19 tests are likely to be phased out as herd immunity is achieved and more people are vaccinated. It could happen earlier or later than predicted, depending on the timeframe between now and herd immunity.

Change Fees Are More Likely To Be Removed

The elimination of shift fees is, thankfully, a hopeful outcome of the pandemic. With so many people needing to change plans, such as hotel reservations or flight tickets, change fees are gradually being phased out to enable people to do so.

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This reduces the cost of travel by allowing people to feel less obligated – or pressured – to stick to their plans, and it also encourages them to reinvest their money in the travel industry until it is safe to travel again. Since there is no set date for when the world will reopen, this degree of flexibility is likely to persist.