Travel During COVID-19
December 12, 2020
As the world is at war with COVID-19, travel still does not stop. While some countries have gone as far as placing “travel bans,” they have ironically proven to encourage more travel if the bans are only applicable to certain countries. Most of Europe has currently placed a travel ban on the United States, but even with this “ban,” people instead travel to other places first so that they can get into a European country. This enables the spreading the virus in more places if a traveler is contaminated instead of just going directly to their destination.
The United Kingdom and Ireland for example are open to Europe and currently require a 14-day isolation upon arrival, but there is almost nothing prohibiting new people from leaving their self-isolation beside the fear of a one-thousand-pound penalty if caught by British police.
Likewise, Panama has also taken their own “precautions.” To limit the introduction of further Covid-19 spread from outside countries, the government has started requiring a COVID-19 test upon visitor arrival. Tourists have the option of paying fifty dollars to take a test at the airport upon arrival or showing documentation of a recent negative test result from the past forty-eight hours before reaching customs. Although this provides comfort to their citizens and makes it appear that the government is being productive, what is to stop someone from showing a fake negative test result to avoid paying the testing fee so they can enter the country?
Panama is not the only country requiring this test-upon-entrance strategy to try and control the virus’ entrance. Despite this seemingly providing security, there is still a lot of room for error and cannot be trusted entirely.
Even though travel restrictions are currently taking place in multiple forms, not everyone wants to travel maliciously. Most companies have suffered economically during the pandemic, especially airlines. Airlines are still hoping to stay in business, yet with an even lower demand, flight prices have dropped significantly. According to a report from The Dollar Flight Club, flight prices have fallen by thirty-five percent and inside the United States prices are forty-one percent lower.
Depending on the location, travel prices with flights can consume most of a trip’s cost. While it might seem crazy to travel during a time of so much uncertainty, the pandemic has provided people with the opportunity to travel to new places at a much lower cost than before.
Not only has the cost of flights lowered, but also the demand from most jobs and schoolwork. Most offices and schools still require people to keep up with work from home or wherever they are, and the online shift can be challenging depending on the workload and internet issues; however, an online setting provides people with the chance to leave the usual location of their place of employment or academic institution and complete their work from an entirely different area.
With cheaper prices and more flexible timing, the only thing stopping avid travelers is a fear of exposure but that risk depends on the person and their level of comfort.