How the Covid-19 pandemic changed travel?
Hopefully, not forever!
When the pandemic first hit the world, travel almost came to a standstill, as many countries closed off their borders, implemented curfews, and travel bans, from high-risk zones.
Almost two years into the pandemic, travel seems to have completely changed.
Although many countries have opened up their borders for international travel, some countries like New Zealand, Australia, and China, still remain closed to international travel.
Fortunately, many people are still able to fly around the world for work, life, or vacation.
There are just a few changes to take note of if you’re planning on boarding a flight anytime soon.
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind —
Health forms and certificates
Most countries now require you to fill out health forms and certificates before you board your international flights.
Not filling these health forms could result in you being denied boarding onto your international flight or being deported back to your country of departure.
It’s that serious!
To be safe, always look into the health requirements of the country you’re flying to.
They most likely have it listed on the country’s consulate’s website, or you can enquire from the airline you’ll be flying with, about whether you’d need one or not.
Covid 19 PCR- Tests
With the exception of a few countries like Mexico, almost all countries now require you to take a PCR test between 48- 72 hours before entering their countries.
Each country’s allotted time for taking the PCR test before entry into their country’s vary. For example, the US requires you to take a PCR test not more than 48 hours before the departure of your flight.
While in order to fly into Ecuador, you must take the test not more than 72 hours before your flight.
Because these requirements vary from county to country, it’s always safe to check through some online research on the consulate’s website or give the airline a call to be sure.
Bear in mind that without the PCR test, you will not be allowed to board your international flight to your final destination.
And if you manage to board your flight without testing, you can count on being returned to your country of departure.
Some countries like Indonesia demand that you quarantine for a minimum of 5 days at a government-approved facility, and then, pass another PCR test administered at the end of your quarantine before you’re released out there into the world.
However, not all counties require you to quarantine on arrival.
You’ll have to research the requirements of the country you’re visiting before you fly in, to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Mandated to wear masks throughout time in airport and duration of the flight.
These days, you’re mandated to keep a mask on at all times, from the moment you step foot in the airport, till you depart the airport at your final destination.
Do this, or face a penalty, especially when you’re onboard the flight.
If you’re strongly opposed to wearing a face mask, this wouldn't be a good time to get on a domestic or international flight.
Downloading Contact tracing apps.
Some countries may require that you download a contact tracing app on arrival to their territory.
I know I had to download a contact tracing app at the airport when I arrived in Jamaica sometime during the pandemic.
These days, not only do you need a regular passport to travel, but you also might just need a vaccination passport, as well.
It is worth mentioning that, not all countries require you to have a specific approved covid- 19 vaccine, such as Astra Zeneca or Moderna. Some countries are perfectly okay with you just presenting a PCR test before your departure and on arrival into their territory.
I often hear people’s hesitancy to travel because they resent the whole vaccine passport thing!
Well, I’m here to tell you not all countries require that, so don't let that be your reason for not traveling.
Bankrupt airlines and fewer flights
Sadly, because the airline industry was badly hit by a lack of travel during the pandemic, there are much fewer flights in operation domestically, and internationally.
This has disruption of the airline industry and fewer flights mean, if you miss your current flight, good luck waiting on the next flight.
In conclusion, I think it’s possible and relatively safe to fly during the pandemic.
Don’t let that stop you from getting to where you need to be. Because who knows when this whole Covid 19 episode will be over?