Many months have gone since the Covid outbreak began to severely batter the travel industry. And only now, after little more than 1 year, reports of a gradual reopening of the sector are circulating through the Web.
This is especially true for the United States - one of the hardest hit nations, and something like 550.000 Covid related deaths - where, due to an ongoing vaccination campaign, strongly enforced by the accessibility of 3 vaccines, daily cases have been plunging since then, and President Biden has made a remarkable statement - that is to process 200 million vaccinations in his first 100 days in charge of the U.S. government.
This has left nationals with many questions: is 2021 really the year when everything will finally go back to "normal"?
Are we on the way to approach the herd immunity date yet? And, as plenty of travel aficionados are now wondering, how long before we can pack that suitcase again?
The answer is not that easy, and depends upon around many factors.
It is indeed partially true that tourism related businesses and leisure activities are slowly opening up - although still severely impacted - and that just recently, airlines are restoring some of their pre-covid routine operations, such as boarding passengers in regular groups, and resuming some of their regular routes - or, like American Airlines and Southwest, adding new ones.
The trend has been backed by statistics that reflect the current hype, and show that people are indeed impatient to hit that travel route again.
However, we are not there just yet. Even though we are quite confident that most of U.S. domestic travel might recommence within August 2021, there are a few catches for what concerns business and international travelers.
First of all, world countries are facing a surge in new waves of Covid cases, strongly tied to new strains of the virus. The good news is, more and more vaccines are being approved for emergency uses.
Secondly, with the rise of smart working and remote working tools, business travel might not see pre-pandemic growth rates for many years to come. That is, at least not until 2023 - we hope even sooner.
On top of that, several countries have not yet started their vaccination campaigns - see most of African, Central American, and part of South East Asian territories. If we also take into consideration that further trials on population aged 16 or less must be done, before we could even inoculate them, then it is safe to say that a glimpse of "normal" comeback may not be seen until at least the end of this year.
This becomes the main reason why - at least for the good part of 2021 - the safest bet is - and we can't stress this enough - to avoid every sort of travel that is not directly related to essential needs. This is by far the best way to help protect yourself, your loved ones, and people around you, from Coronavirus.
As tired and stressed we may become - right now we are in the very middle of fighting an international health crisis, and, the better we comply to health measures, the faster we can expect to hit the road again. The good side is, we are well on our way to win this battle.
Taking advantage of this stall period to dedicate time to self-growth, learning new skills, making plans for the future, or whatever your goals are, is the best thing you can do while we wait out the pandemic.
The end might not be that far - at least for some nations - so hold on tight!
Optimism is the key to fight tragic events - staying strong and focusing about the future is what really counts during hard times.