Travel after Coronavirus
As Ireland and countries all over the world battle the third wave of Coronavirus, travel has been stopped in its tracks. Airlines are grounded, hotels are closed, and cruise ships are docked. When will travel start again? What will travel look like post Covid? Many experts are advising it could be as far away as September 2021 before we start to see holidaymakers jetting off for some Autumn sun. However, when travel does begin again, it will be very different to what we were used to before the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on below to find out what industry experts are predicting travel after coronavirus will look like…
Rapid COVID-19 Testing in Airports
Many countries, Ireland included, have implemented regulations which require arriving travellers to provide a negative PCR test result up to 72 hours before arrival.
PCR testing can be costly for passengers and many travel and medical experts predict that they may be replaced with Rapid Antigen Tests as they have been in some countries across the world, including the Canary Islands when travelling from a green or orange region as per the EU traffic light system.
Compulsory Masks When Flying
At the moment, most airlines require passengers and crew to wear a face mask or face covering in order to travel. It is expected that this will continue until vaccination roll out has been widespread across the globe.
What will travel look like after Coronavirus?
Seat Sales to Encourage Travel
In the past, post SARS, 9/11 and the 2008 crash, all airlines introduced big sales to encourage bookings. Covid-19 is obviously a very different situation, but headline grabbing sales will stimulate demand. At the moment, many of the flights that are running are priced at a huge discount.
Check out this Business Traveller interview with Richard Tams, Tailwind Advisory where he says “the promotions are going to be a combination of garnering people’s interest in flying again and capturing people’s imaginations for foreign parts and warmer climates.”
Gradual Opening of Routes and Destinations
Unfortunately, there is no switch which will turn every route back on and open every destination back up. This will be a gradual process which will be done in stages. It is expected that long haul routes will start at two to three times per week initially – daily frequencies will not happen for a long time.
Staycations and Short Haul
As restrictions eased in Summer 2020, staycations became a huge trend in Ireland, with people rediscovering the beauty of our country. This trend is expected to continue once restrictions are lifted during 2021.
For holidaymakers that are confident enough to travel by plane, short haul destinations will be very popular. This trend is very evident in parts of Asia, where citizens are slowly returning to normal and starting to travel again.
Once vaccinated, travellers may be required to present immunity certificates at the airport. During the pandemic, the Tropical Medical Bureau Group, TMB (IE), Nomad Travel (UK), in association with pharmaceutical and vaccine partners, propose that guidelines in regard to an immunity certificate for COVID-19 must be developed urgently to allow policy makers and public health bodies provide a globally accepted certification of immunity.
Cleanliness and Hygiene
Hotels, airlines, airports and cruise ships will all need to address their previous cleaning and hygiene protocols and ask themselves “are we doing enough?”. Many countries, such as Portugal, have developed a stamp which certifies businesses who are following appropriate cleaning and hygiene practices.
All areas that travellers interact with will need to continue to be cleaned to the highest standard to ensure the confidence and comfort of passengers and guests. You can expect to continue seeing hand sanitiser everywhere you go.
Life will slowly return to normal, albeit a new normal, and people will start to travel again. What we do now determines how soon this new normal will arrive. So, stay home, stay safe, wear your mask and wash your hands! Are you currently working from home? Read our blog on ‘how to stay healthy at home’ here.