In many parts of the world, travel restrictions that were introduced during the CoVid pandemic are starting to be eased. For example, on the 1st of February 2022, the EU recommended that travelers will only need to produce a “green pass” health certificate and there is no longer any need to self-isolate. But that does not mean countries will comply with this recommendation and do so for travelers from every country.
So, the answer to the question Is it time to make plans to travel again? is not a straightforward yes or no. Things are changing for the better, but not everywhere and certainly not in a universal way.
The travel industry is opening up again
In some areas, the level of tourism is almost back to pre-pandemic levels. When Visit Florida looked at tourism to the area during the second quarter of 2021, they were surprised to discover that 31.7 million people had visited Florida. That was just 2.2% fewer than during the same period, in 2019. However, it is important to realize that most of them were domestic visitors.
Whereas the majority of Spain s visitors are traveling from abroad. By November 2021, they received around 77% of the number of foreign visitors they would have done if the pandemic had not hit.
The situation is fluid
But it is also important to understand that things can still change and do so quickly. When the Omicron variant took hold in Spain, during December 2021, some areas of the country shut to tourists from abroad. For example, Catalonia. The situation is fluid and looks set to remain so for a while yet.
Get up to date information
So, before you plan a trip it is vital that you sit down and do a bit of research to work out whether there are travel restrictions in the part of the world you are planning to visit. When you do this, you need to be sure that you are using trusted sources of information. You can get an overview of what is going on from pages like this one. But you need to bear in mind that the details may not be up to date or 100% accurate. Always visit the government advice pages for the country you are traveling to and any that you are going to be stopping over in. These typically contain the best information.
Furthermore, if you’re traveling to a country for medical purposes, such as getting cosmetic surgery or dental treatment, you should check the rules and regulations with your chosen clinic. While you may have had an appointment scheduled long before the pandemic, taking the time to make sure that they are still accepting international patients is of the utmost importance. Regardless of whether you’re seeking treatment in Turkey, Spain or America, you will be glad that you took the time to check beforehand. What’s more, it will allow you to reschedule or get accustomed to the rules before traveling.
Once that is done you will know what the possibilities are. Enabling you to decide whether to book or not.
Buy the right insurance
But as we said earlier it is important to remember that the situation is fluid. The virus is still around, which means that travel restrictions can be put in place again before your travel date or while you are away. So, it makes sense to buy insurance that includes CoVid coverage. You can find it online in places like this. But these policies have their limitations. For example, some of these so-called covid travel insurance policies only cover the medical expenses that arise if you catch the virus while you are abroad. They do not always cover the cost of flight cancellations or accommodation bills. So, before you sign up with a provider read the policy and ask about anything you are not sure about.
Follow the advice given on the ground
During your journey, keep an eye out for CoVid related information. Specific signage software for covid was developed, which is still being widely used in transport hubs. So, remember to pause and digest any information that you see displayed on digital screens. Most of these signs include pictures or cartoons which are designed to help travelers to understand what they need to do. But if you are at all unsure about something, ask. Or, failing that, use a translation app. This article reviews 9 of them including Waygo which enables you to point your smartphone at a sign and get a translation. It is an especially useful feature, but it is always worth having a backup app available or an offline translation program to double-check anything that does not make sense to you.
Things are opening up. But you do need to do a bit of extra research, choose where you go carefully, and realize that your experience is going to be different. If you do decide to travel, be prepared to be flexible, to go with the flow, and make sure that you have enough money to get home should you have any issues while abroad.