The travel world has been on a roller coaster in 2020. Even as vaccination campaigns started in the United States and Europe, countries slammed shut their borders to visitors from the United Kingdom, because of a new strain of the coronavirus. And while the number of people flying in the United States is again on the rise — topping 1 million a day on the weekend before Christmas — a patchwork of quarantine and testing regulations remains in place in many parts of the country.
Worldwide, Covid-19 has killed more than 1.5 million people, sickened millions more and short-circuited economies. Of all the industries reeling from its destructive impact, the travel industry was upended like no other.
Travel has been changed by past calamities. Safety measures instituted after the 9/11 attacks are now just part of the travel experience. It’s unclear just which changes to the travel landscape will be in place a year from now — or 10 years on — but some answers are starting to come into focus.
On the brink of the new year, we looked at nine of the most pressing queries facing the travel industry and individual travelers — here are the answers.
Will I need to prove I’ve been vaccinated to travel?
In November, Qantas Airlines announced that once a coronavirus vaccine was available, passengers hoping to fly on the airline would need to prove that they had taken it. Alan Joyce, the airline’s chief executive, described the need for proof of vaccination as “a necessity.”
“I think that’s going to be a common thing talking to my colleagues in other airlines around the globe,” he said.
Indeed, many airlines are currently testing technology to streamline the health documentation process, including mobile health apps