- Development of global travel safety standards while acknowledging individual countries may have unique requirements at a given point in time
- End quarantine programs and replace with Covid-19 testing. This would typically require a test done within 72 hours of departure, again at arrival, and possibly again in 5-7 days (as is done in some countries now).
- Adopt vaccine/immunity passports to verify vaccination of travelers (subject to confirmation that those vaccinated do not spread disease)
- Assume face masks and social distancing will be mandatory for the indefinite future (think years and regardless of whether these measures are very effective)
- Adopt “travel bubbles” – relatively free travel between countries that have few cases of Covid-19
Travel might restart for those at low risk, but those with underlying conditions or who are older may be unwilling to travel yet until vaccines are widely deployed.
Further, frequent Covid-19 testing will significantly add to the costs. Testing can run anywhere from $25 to $125 per test – both directions of a trip, times two or three depending on how many tests are required. (Some countries provide free testing but many do not.)
There seems to be a general sense that most travelers (especially those with risk factors) will not travel until vaccinations are widely available and deployed. For many that means not until next winter in the U.S., and well into 2022, even 2023, depending on destination country.