Quarantine continues to be a major deterrent for international travel, with 72 per cent of over 46,000 members surveyed citing it as a reason not to travel, according to new research released by Collinson’s Priority Pass. The survey also shows that while quarantine regulations continue to be enforced around the world, only 29 per cent of travellers feel it is an essential safety measure.
When reasons behind this largely negative sentiment towards quarantine are explored in depth, 70 per cent blame the additional costs involved and the unpredictable nature of quarantine rules, while 61 per cent are reluctant to spend so much time indoors; a finding which is likely linked to an increasing emphasis on mental wellbeing when travelling.
While majority of countries in the Middle East have opened their borders to air travel, at least 10 still have quarantine requirements in place, meaning borders are effectively closed, says International Air Transport Association (IATA). Testing and vaccinations will play a role in opening borders to travel as the pandemic comes under control.
IATA recommends simple, efficient, and harmonised standards for what credentials people will need to travel – this will boost consumer confidence and give strength to the recovery. This includes replacing mandatory quarantine for travellers with testing, the cost of which should be borne by the government.
Yet countries around the world are opting for state-imposed quarantine for travellers who are either not vaccinated, or not vaccinated with a vaccine the country recognises or for all incoming travellers whether vaccinated or not.
These destinations will lose out to destinations that welcome travellers and holidaymakers without the need of quarantine. Regional airlines are promoting destinations based on quarantine-free travel for the summer holiday period and increasingly countries in Europe will be reopening borders without quarantine restrictions.
Around the world, the situation of the pandemic varies. However, it is safe to say that no matter how free or how restricted their life is in their origin country, travellers are not looking forward to getting off a plane to a destination of their choice and then locking themselves in for a period, which currently varies from a few hours to a few weeks in certain parts of the world.
International Air Transport Association (IATA) stresses that replacing quarantine measures with testing is critical to travel recovery. Testing and vaccinations will play a role in opening borders to travel as the pandemic comes under control. IATA recommends simple, efficient, and harmonised standards for what credentials people will need to travel – this will boost consumer confidence and give strength to the recovery. This includes replacing mandatory quarantine for travellers with testing, the costs of which should ideally be borne by the government.
According to Collinson’s report, pre-pandemic frequent flyers are ready to get back on a plane, claiming they expect to fly nearly six times in the next 12 months. Compared with pre-Covid averages of almost 10 flights per year, this represents a 61 per cent recovery compared with 2019 travel.
Only time will tell whether they will travel to destinations despite the quarantine or head to more welcoming countries for their leisure travel.