By: Brooke Pitcoff
In the beginning of this summer, the US enjoyed relatively easy travels. With lowering Covid rates, the United States was deemed a safe place to travel by many countries including the European Union. United States citizens enjoyed the ability to travel internationally after over a year in quarantine. This helped many industries including the travel and hospitality industries prosper.
However, with the rise of the new Delta variant, travel has become more restrictive. The European Union has removed the United States from it’s list of countries that are safe to travel to. This means that members of the European Union will feel pressure to put a ban on American travel. However, this is merely a suggestion and member states have the power to enforce their own rules when it comes to covid travel. Many will stick with the same guidelines they have been following for the past year.
Travelling during the Covid-19 pandemic is undoubtedly more complicated than previous years. Many countries require proof of a vaccination, a negative covid test, and/or a two week quarantine. The UK is no longer part of the European Union and only requires a negative covid test to travel. If one does not wish to partake in a Covid test, a 10 day quarantine is recommended. Some other countries in Europe have similar requirements in order to travel, however, these may all change as the United States has been taken off the safe list.
This new change to European travel will undoubtedly impact the economy. In 2020, hotel stays in Europe fell 70 percent from 2019 (STR). This impacts many people who rely on the hospitality industry as their source of income. With decreased sales, hotels around Europe will suffer and may ultimately close. The new restriction on US travellers will continue the drop in sales.
Although travelling during the Covid-19 pandemic is more difficult, restrictions make the world a safer place. Being vaccinated or having a negative Covid test while traveling will slow the spread of Covid and hopefully hinder the spread of the new variant. While the hospitality and travel industry will be affected by new bans on the United States, steps like bans must be taken in the name of public health. Travelling during the pandemic is different but it is notably safer.