A week of interesting possibilities. Travel is starting to turn its wheels and airlines and tour operators are ramping up for a return of summer business. This past week the UK announced a rapid decline in COVID-19 cases as well as an increase in the vaccination rollouts. Come June, the UK is hoping to be at or near normalcy. It will be interesting to see what that means. Johnson & Johnson now has a single shot vaccine that will be available for adults 18 and over.
For travelers, there is no date set yet to jump on a plane and travel to “anywhere.” However, airlines, tour operators and cruise companies are starting to figure out the next stage, including potentially vaccine passports and rapid Covid testing.
Life at the next stage is moving faster than we imagined. Rates are tumbling. While restricted capacities may still be a way of life through the end of 2021 until the numbers recede to optimum levels and the vaccine reaches a higher percentage of penetration, the USA will be vaccinated by end of May. UK not long after. 20 million people in the UK are already vaccinated. Blue sky ahead.
Corridors for travel are being actively discussed. Greece and UK. Spain and Italy. Everyone is looking for a way to fill their hotels and restaurants. A European vaccine card is now being produced. Germany first. Then the rest of Europe. All to make traveling easier.
Most travel companies are starting to ramp up. Getting ready. USA to USA will probably go first. Then the Caribbean. Then the world. And it will move fast depending on vaccines and rates of infections. By this summer the world should be open. Again, with a combination of vaccine travel documents, rapid Covid tests at airports and hotels and reasonable capacity limits in entertainment venues. Nearly normal or new normal!
Some good news is that the Tokyo Olympics is officially on in late July. The Euro soccer championships is a go in early June across the entire European continent. Theaters will start opening in the UK and pubs and museums will begin their awakening. Now we can start to imagine walking through Covent Garden on the way to St. Martin’s Lane for a night at the theatre. Now we imagine a walk-through Baroque Rome and a nightcap in the Piazza Navona. What seemed like a lifetime away is within reach. We may have to show up at the airport even earlier, tolerate longer lines at immigration entry as not everything will return to normal. But, hey, it’s better than I could ever have imagined a few months ago and feels like we’re heading somewhere soon.
Clocks are moving forward this month. Things are happening. New regulations are being put in place so we can start traveling again.