Well, we thought 2020 was going to be the end of this nightmare…. then 2021 began in a way we hadn’t hear before….”Unprecedented”🤦🏼♀️
When it was announced at the end of last year that we’d have not one but two highly effective vaccines against the coronavirus, people were excited, hope was restored as collectively our desire to travel hasn’t abated.
A few months later, though, the vaccine rollout has been choppy at best in the U.S., people’s expectations are coming back down to earth expecting everything to “go back to normal magically in 2021”. Most realize it will be several months before they can get vaccinated themselves.
In Australia, TGA provisionally approves Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in Australia on the 25 January 2020 : https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/jan/30/australias-covid-vaccine-rollout-everything-you-need-to-know
With it being approved and rolled out now in the US, UK, Australia and most countries around the world, we are unfortunately seeing new strains of the virus that are more contagious and potentially more deadly popping up around the world and within the U.S.
A lot of the enthusiasm we first saw in the travel industry as well as the medical tourism industry at the beginning of the year for plans for this year is beginning to fade a bit. People are taking a step back and evaluating when they realistically can get back out into the world.
What needs to happen before we can travel with some normalcy?
It’s apparently not going to be ‘just that simple’ to get back to normal, everyday life?! There are certain factors in the equation when it comes to travel and it’s essential that the combination of vaccines administered will contribute to achieving a level of immunity around the world so that the virus can no longer spread as rapidly — or lethally.
And there is promising news on that front.
And there is promising news on that front. Using the US as somewhat of a test-case, the first 22 millionAmericans have been vaccinated for COVID-19, and the CDC says the initial safety data shows everything is going well. The CDC reported this week that its early data on the first 22 million or so Americans who have received at least one dose of a vaccine shows they are indeed as safe as they were expected to be.
And data from Israel, the world leader in terms of the vaccination effort, has found that infection rates have dropped significantly after just the first dose of the vaccine, according to reporting from the New York Times.
On Friday morning, Johnson & Johnson shared that its vaccine is effective in protecting against COVID-19, though it reported a drop in its effectiveness against the new strain of the virus circulating in South Africa.
Still, this vaccine only requires one shot instead of two and can be stored for months in a typical refrigerator, promising news for developing nations who perhaps don’t have the infrastructure in place to support the extra care required to store the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
If this new vaccine receives approval and we can get it distributed to a lot of people quickly, we can start to get ahead of the virus and hopefully blunt its circulation among the population before the more contagious strains become dominant.
What does this all mean for travel?
For countries that have taken an aggressive stance and very restrictive non-travel measurements against covid- vaccination is going to be a requirement for international travel we predict. Countries that have taken very strict and aggressive measures to successfully protected themselves from against COVID-19, such as Australia, New Zealand and several nations in Asia.
Read more about the state of travel right now:
- New Zealand says its borders may remain closed through 2021
- US ‘actively looking’ at negative COVID-19 test mandate for domestic flights
- 16 things you need to know about getting COVID-19 tested for US-bound international flights
Sooooo international travel returning to normal for 2021? Unfortunately for Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Asia it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.
In the US it looks like domestically they will see a pretty busy summer for travel, and and some of their closest allies like North and South America, possibly the UK and other nations in Europe, could open their borders to Americans this summer (with restrictions, of course) if we continue to see case and death numbers go down and increase our rate of vaccination.
But we are predicting the real boom — and perhaps a return to normalcy even — will happen in the summer of 2022 (winter here in Australia) after a much larger portion of the global population has been inoculated against COVID-19.