In May, those who are fully vaccinated were told they could leave their masks behind in most settings – even indoor settings. This week, however, that recommendation did an about face for two reasons: the first is to protect vaccinated people from breakthrough infections, and the second is to protect the unvaccinated (including children). It will take time before we know whether masks are a permanent part of our world.
This week is a review of the broader, possibly longer lasting, changes in the world of travel since COVID.
Travel restrictions are sticking
Despite requests from travel industry executives and the recent announcement that Canadian borders are open to US travelers in August, the White House says restrictions limiting who can travel to the US will stay in place. Italy also extended its quarantine requirement for British travelers until the end of August.
Travel agents are back
Thanks to the internet boom and the rise of quality in travel websites, most travelers feel confident in scheduling and booking their own trips. In a new world of fast-changing testing protocols, shifting border restrictions, and scarcity for rental cars and hotel rooms, some of the most confident travelers have started calling in a travel advisor for help.
A June poll conducted by the American Society of Travel Advisors showed 76% of advisors are seeing an increase in customers, and 81% are getting calls from travelers who have never used an advisor before.
The reason most travelers cite for contacting an agent is time—they don’t have time to constantly watch the changing restrictions and want to count on someone else to do that for them.
Travel insurance may be required
When COVID shut down travel worldwide in 2020, many would-be travelers scrambled to get refunds or to file travel insurance for cancellations. Many others started looking at travel insurance for the first time, including whole countries that want to avoid health costs for inbound travelers who get sick.
Pre-COVID only a handful of countries made proof of travel medical insurance a requirement. Today, there are 26 countries that require visitors to have specific medical coverage for COVID and the list is growing. It seems that COVID has made everyone a lot more aware of travel insurance.
Other interesting news
Travel myths we can forget about: it’s too expensive, dangerous for women, and dirty.
Forget the pump, it’s jet fuel we have to worry about now. Shortages prompt American Airlines to ask pilots to conserve.
Sharks, volcanoes, and ice caves – Thrill seekers bring back the travel adventure thrills to make up for lost time.
All those devices need regular charging. Here’s the latest recommendations in best travel adapters from Wired magazine.