While it seems like we’re still a ways off from this happening, there’s constant talk about the US economy needing to be reopened. What does this mean for travel, and in particular, international travel?
We’ve seen increasing border closures
Over the past many weeks we’ve seen international borders closed unlike any time in recent history.
From a US perspective, at the beginning of February we saw restrictions on those traveling from China, while in mid March we saw restrictions on those traveling from Europe. The closures have only increased since then.
There’s merit to these policies in general, though obviously they are also complicated:
- We’ve seen examples of regions that have gotten COVID-19 under control, but then had a second wave prompted largely by those coming from abroad
- When border restrictions are put in place, they often become reciprocal, given the politics of travel
- Closing borders is only one part of the equation — the fact that some countries still don’t perform health screenings on citizens returning home from abroad is ridiculous
Border restrictions “more important than ever”
As we begin a science-based reopening, we must be extra vigilant in blocking the foreign entry of the virus from abroad. Border control, travel restrictions, and other limitations on entry are more important than ever to keep the virus in check and allow Americans to get back to work.
There’s nothing concrete here, but I do interpret this to mean that borders won’t be reopening anytime soon:
- Those of us who are excited to travel probably can’t wait to go abroad
- Given how global the economy is nowadays, many of us might have assumed that “reopening” the economy might also involve reopening borders
- It sounds like the opposite will be true, and it’s highly unlikely we’ll see border restrictions lifted anytime soon, at least from the US; maybe we’ll even see more restrictions added
While the Trump administration is keen to reopen the economy, it looks like border restrictions are here to stay.
Many of us have assumed all along that domestic travel would return before international travel, though it seems like international travel may be way off at this point.
How do you read into these statements from the White House?