An official warning has been issued for upcoming travel. When an authority figure makes a statement, people listen. Sometimes, the statement is not what listeners want to hear, and it creates a bit of a panic among those who were hoping for a different solution. Grant Shapps, MP, the British Transport Secretary has said that travel won’t be possible until everybody is vaccinated and that anyone wanting to travel abroad would need to wait for other countries to catch up. He went on to advise that those wanting to travel on holiday wait and that “The best advice is: do nothing at this stage.”
These words have sent those who want to travel soon, as well as the travel industry, into a frenzy. The travel industry was one that was hit extremely hard by the pandemic restrictions. The industry has been doing everything possible to encourage bookings when restrictions are lifted and are not pleased that the Transport Secretary has been so bold as to tell everyone to not make travel plans at all right now. Some fear that if they wait for everyone to be vaccinated before opening up travel again that they will lose another summer season which they cannot afford.
The travel industry also impacts the tourism and hospitality industry as well. This includes everything from hotel reservations to airlines, convention centers, tourist destinations, trains, buses, and cruises. Some cruise ships have already opted to mandate passengers not only receive the COVID-19 vaccination but also follow temperature checks, wearing of masks, and COVID-19 testing prior to boarding for all crew and passengers.
Travel is not just for those seeking to vacation for leisure. Millions of people travel each year for business-related trips as well. Both the leisure-minded and the business travelers are currently in limbo not knowing whether or not they should make travel plans in the coming months.
Instead of mandating the vaccine, some prefer that the travel industry reopens with a thought-out strategy that keeps up with the developing medical situation. Suggested steps would consider optional vaccine certificates and testing together.
When or how travel will be completely open again is unclear, but it is clear that the travel industry will not survive without some kind of plan to reopen soon. Others suggest that it goes far beyond the economic strain. People who have been on lock down for quite some time and have looked forward to taking a trip are impacted. For many, it is a struggle and a blow to their mental health, which has become a real problem with suicides and depression on the rise due to the fallout of the pandemic restrictions.
Hopefully, everyone will be able to work together to come up with a workable solution that satisfies everyone while not sacrificing their safety in traveling whether it is within the country or abroad. Most everyone will no doubt agree that something is worked out soon so everyone can once again enjoy business trips, holidays away, and vacation getaways without worrying about getting sick or needing to quarantine for weeks on end after enjoying time away.