The world’s international borders have shut down to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. However, authorities have assured us that the measures are temporary. Still, for those of us who enjoy a trip abroad every now and again, having a travel guide for post-coronavirus trips can be useful. There’s a lot of discussion surrounding new protocols for overseas flights once borders reopen. A lot of the speculation hinges on whether a vaccine will present itself or not. Without that vaccine, countries may have to restrict travel to other nations with a demonstrated control of the coronavirus pandemic. What sort of changes should we expect when traveling in a post-coronavirus world?
1. Rapid Blood Testing
As borders reopen, airlines will be keen to ensure that they don’t bring more infected people to countries that managed to beat back the virus. Stuff mentions that Emirates Airlines have already started administering rapid COVID-19 testing to passengers before leaving the terminal. Whether this will become a norm of international travel in the foreseeable future remains to be seen. It all depends on whether vaccinations become affordable enough for everyone, and if those rapid testing kits are accurate.
2. Updated Security Protocols
Because of the global war on terrorism, security protocols while boarding have significantly changed since the turn of the millennium. The added pressure of COVID-19 has made it necessary to adapt these protocols once more. The TSA announced that they would be adapting their security protocol to cater to social distancing and the wearing of masks on the flight. On the bright side, they waived the minimum volume requirement for hand sanitizer as an additional change to safety precautions.
3. Less In-Flight Magazines
Many of us like to pass the time during a flight engrossed in one of the in-flight magazines in the seat compartment in front of us. Sadly, because of the risk of handling these publications, airlines are planning to remove them when borders reopen. It’s not just the paper covers for the magazines, but also the in-flight meals that will be modified. The presentation of these meals will have changed the packaging to ensure that there is less interaction needed during meal service.
4. A Change in Flight Prices
Trying to predict how fares will change is like trying to predict the stock market. Even though we have ample data to make suppositions, the fact remains that we’re still in the dark about how the coronavirus will impact the long-term price of flights. In the short term, through 2021, we may see lower prices as the airlines try to lure more passengers back to flying. However, over time, the airlines may make up the difference in increased fares over the next five years in smaller increments.
A New Normal to Contend With
Masks, hand sanitizers, gloves, and social distancing has made flying an entirely different affair to what it was less than a decade ago. As time goes on, the situation will become more common, and we might even start learning how to exist in a world that has to deal with coronavirus. For now, all we can do is hope that the friendly skies don’t get unfriendly too soon when the international borders reopen.