When Is It “Responsible” To Travel Again?

Filed Under: Travel

There’s a lot of talk about the future of travel, but there’s something that there has been very little talk about, best I can tell — how do we decide when it’s “responsible” to travel again?

We’re all thinking about travel

Like many of you, I’ve been at home for about two months now. While it’s tough, I appreciate the positive lessons I’ve learned from all of this (which I’ll save for another blog post).

I almost never remember dreams, but last night was an exception — in my dream I was flying Japan Airlines business class on the 787.

I had reserved a window seat (since Japan Airlines has Apex Suites, and the window seats are the best), but for whatever reason I ended up sitting in an aisle seat in a totally different row. That’s how you know this was a crazy dream. 😉

But then halfway through the dream I panicked — wait a second, why the heck am I flying? I shouldn’t be doing this. I’m being irresponsible, and how am I going to explain this flight on the blog?!

And then I woke up…

Japan Airlines’ business class

We’re slowly moving towards travel resuming

We’re starting to see signs that some aspects of life are ever-so-slightly starting to move in the direction of returning to normal(ish):

Southwest Airlines’ CEO claims it’s safe to fly again

When is it “responsible” to travel again?

That brings me to my question, which I don’t have an answer to, but rather would like to start a discussion around. What are the indicators that it will be responsible to travel again?

  • When can you travel again and post a picture of travel without people saying “why the heck aren’t you at home?”
  • I welcome all perspectives, though this question isn’t targeted at those who have been traveling all along for fun without face masks and who think the whole virus is a scam and no worse than the flu

What should we be looking for as indicators?

  • Is it based on whether the country or region you’re traveling to is open to tourists, and is encouraging visitors?
  • Is it based on taking necessary precautions when traveling, from face masks while on planes, to social distancing as much as possible?
  • Is it based on the type of discretionary travel you’re taking? In other words, is a road trip to a hotel that’s in nature different than getting on a plane to visit a city?
  • Is travel just all around irresponsible until we have widespread testing and/or a vaccine?
  • Is it based on the government telling us it’s safe? Or the airlines claiming it’s safe?
  • Is it based on airlines increasing service? Is it based on the reopening of hotels that are closed?
  • Is it based on where you’re coming from and where you’re going? For example, if you’ve been isolating yourself in New York City for two weeks and feel somewhere else is safer to stay for a while, is that okay?

Greece plans on welcoming tourists again this summer

I don’t have an answer here, but I’m genuinely curious. I don’t think we’re at a point yet where traveling for fun is viewed as responsible (and for good reason), but what has to change for that perception to also change?

You guys are brilliant, so have at it. 😉

  1. Not until there is a vaccine. Anyone who travels for leisure before then is very selfish and ignorant.

  2. 1. When the essential travel decree is lifted (tight now only essential travel is permitted).
    2. When you feel comfortable taking the trip.
    3. Being able to easily test for the presence of the virus will also be very helpful.

  3. Dreams on flying:
    Normal Traveler: I fly in a plane
    Lucky: I fly Japan Airlines business class on the 787 which has Apex Suites

  4. @ ah — I haven’t made a decision one way or another. I don’t have flights booked and can cancel up until 14 days before arrival, so I don’t have to make a decision until mid-June. It seems unlikely at this point, but we’ll see…

  5. I thought about this a lot. I really don’t care what people think about my travels. I will start traveling as soon as I can.

    Freedom of choice is so powerful. If someone feels at risk, then they shouldn’t fly or work or etc. I will fly as responsible as possible.

    I’m empathetic to all those who are fearful, but science shows if your younger with no underlining health conditions, there is a small chance of becoming very ill.

    Again, my choice. I’ll take that chance. And its not about me being selfish. If someone is at risk, they should make the choice of locking down.

    All of us only have one life. We get no second chances. We all have to weigh risk vs reward. And I would rather lay in my death bed smiling that I took risks. Rather than regretting all the risks I never took.

    That’s just me.

  6. @ Hanta V — I don’t disagree, but does that apply regardless of how long the vaccine takes? Are any types of travel more responsible than others? In other words, is a road trip to an Airbnb in the middle of nowhere different than a flight to a crowded city?

  7. I’ve been having travel dreams every night since stay-at-home started. Already hit MM on all my favorite programs! 😉

    I don’t think you’re asking quite the right specific questions here. There are a few glaringly obvious ones:

    1) What is the outbreak trajectory in the area where you live and the areas where you plan to visit? Overall the case and death rates in the US are worsening and not improving! There seems to be a huge disconnect between the “opening up” narrative and the facts on the ground.

    2) What’s the public health response? Is widespread testing available? Are positive cases being aggressively contact-traced? Can you be confident that authorities can reach you if someone you interacted with tested positive?

    3) If you’re planning to venture internationally, what’s the health infrastructure where you plan to visit? What kind of insurance do you have? What’s your passport worth? One huge underrated effect of the epidemic is that the US passport just went from being the most valuable in the world, to one of the most restrictive (at least in the short term).

    4) What’s your personal risk calculus? If you don’t believe you’ve had COVID, how comfortable are you making peace with the possibility? If you *have* had it, do you accept that immunity is still a big open question mark?

  8. Seriously, it could be responsible only if:
    -Your home country has no or very low infection rate,
    -Your destination country has no or very low infection rate, and
    -Your transit has no or very low infection rate, if you have to take a transit routine, and
    -You prepared to take a mask during a travel
    So basically, I actually think it is responsible to travel between:
    1. South Korea
    2. Taiwan
    3. Hong Kong
    4. Palau
    Would be fine.
    Hopefully I can add Germany, Austria and Nordic States into the list soon

  9. Already flying domestically. Every week.
    All for fun.

    Not sure why anyone stopped?
    That last month has been some of the most amazing travel of my life. Just, heaven.

    I personally think it was *irresponsible* for everyone to stop traveling. We cut off our economic nose to spite our face.

    Everyone will say it was because of ‘safety’ and whatever buzzword they use. (Flatten the curve, social distancing, ‘new normal’).

    We’re people – we are social. That carries with it inherent risk.
    This time, the risk… was no different than normal every day life.
    But, everyone got themselves in a massive uproar over – the exact same risk.
    We panicked – and most people have now realized – yikes, we look like idiots for panicking over this.

    But here we are – asking silly questions like:

    is it safe to travel??? – lol, yup, nothing has changed.
    is it responsible to travel??? – lol, it HELPS society to travel, of course.
    is it fun to travel still??? – lol, yup, nothing changed

    So, instead of one more person, behind a keyboard, asking silly questions.
    Maybe that one person, with a travel blog, should – TRAVEL???
    You know, go out there, have fun, be a human?

    I’m doing it every week. Got home Monday from a 6 day trip in the South.
    Heading out Friday for 7 day road trip through the Midwest.
    Back for 3 days, then back to east coast for 6 day road trip to Civil War battlefields.
    Then back to The Dakotas to finish all 50 states.

    So, uhm, another strange article that doesn’t speak from experience – just posting from behind a keyboard.

  10. @Tee ayo– You’re whistling past OTHER people’s graveyards. I believe you should have personal freedom to inject heroin. But you don’t have the right to stick needles into random people you pass on the sidewalk. Huge difference.

  11. We have a dream trip to Japan booked for late Nov / early Dec 2020. First class JAL, etc (thank you @lucky or educating us on these things!) We had originally planned the trip for fall 2019 but had to delay after the wildfires here in Sonoma County, CA. I’m super hopeful – but somewhat pessimistic- about our ability / desire to go later this year. Obviously won’t do so if it isn’t safe and/or if things are still in a quasi shut down mode. Have already delayed/canceled all other leisure travel between now and then, but may start traveling domestically again for work in the early fall if things are looking better. That said, I am starting to think about some speculative bookings and mileage purchases based on the sales going on currently for us in 2021 and beyond. Might as well try to take advantage of low pricing.

  12. In January we planned a trip of a lifetime and prebooked many hotels and Vrbo.
    We have flights booked for Aug 29 return October 12 our trip itinerary takes us trough France, Italy and Switzerland. I know these countries are looking to reopen for tourism but…. We’ll only travel if the quarantines are lifted.
    We’re holding out on canceling until we don’t have a choice, several bookings along the way are non-refundable, even if vouchers are offered we may not be able to use them.

  13. I’m ready to travel now. Should I? Not sure really. But I am so depressed staying home. Sure I go out to get necessities and since we’re allowed to now in NJ, a walk in the park. Wearing my mask and staying away from people of course. And yes, I’ll treat myself to an occasional Americano at Starbucks (currently drive thru only, at least my preferred store.)

    That said, I want to get on a plane and get the heck out! I have a cruise planned for November and I’m 90% sure I’ll go unless they cancel. My sailing for next week was scrapped of course. If we could, I’d hit a local (as in down the street, or maybe 40 minutes away in Philly even) hotel for a one-night ‘staycation’ just for a change of scenery. I’d even settle for ‘room service’ on disposable plates.

    I think I’ll travel before a vaccine. I believe that this disease is horrible, but also, there’s a lot of panic and, for lack of better words, scare tactics being employed. Do I think we need to wear masks and stay apart as much as possible? Yes. However, I also think that there are a lot of smaller businesses, for instance card/gift shops or smaller clothing stores, that could open if they wanted, provided they limit people inside.

    So I think that reality is somewhere in between becoming hermits and getting back to life before Covid 19. The ‘normal’ will become a new normal, but staying home and being fearful is going to make people even more crazy.

    That got off on a tangent (so sorry) but for me, travel is probably the best thing to cheer me up, other than my cat and I long to see the ocean and sky and other things again! I finally got to Europe last year (whew) and realized that there is SO much to see, so little time and I’m getting older.

    So sure, I’m ready. Heck, I might even just buy a plane ticket to someplace….

  14. I don’t think it wise to travel until;

    * Antibody testing is reliable and or vaccine available
    * CDC/PHE lifts restrictions on non essential domestic travel
    * Advisories against all but essential international travel restrictions are lifted
    * Travel insurance policies(credit card/stand alone policies) cover for travel during the pandemic
    * If you do need to travel and you fall ill you won’t put undue pressure on the countries health service

  15. Lucky, fwiw, bodrum reopened this past weekend and turkey wants to at least start domestic tourism again by the end of this month… Let’s see.

  16. Looking to an around the world trip in October to Europe, Maldives, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan that is all booked on points so is pretty darn flexible if needed to be cancelled. Mind you, booking the same itinerary if it needs to be is going to be a royal PITA, but if need to it can be done. I suspect immunity passports are going to be a thing come then, but probably the biggest hurdle is going to be travel bans, especially the Maldives and Singapore portions.

  17. A big factor for me is am I visiting friends or not. It’s not the only but one of the biggest. And of course the friends have to be comfortable with it too which is to early to tell.

    I have two domestic trips booked in late summer and early fall to do this. One is cross country to a friend that lives in a rural area and the other is a shorter flight to a mid size city. The trip I booked to Kansas City is seriously doubtful because I am NOT visiting a friend there and just wanted to go. I rebooked an international trip to Jordan for October. I did this in the first part of March or would have pushed it back further. That is going to be complicated to say the least. I am visiting a friend but I have to see if Jordan is open, is mass quick testing available so I can be checked easily, would I be required to quarantine, and who knows what else?

  18. It’s a personal decision for each and every person. I mostly travel for pleasure and not work, so I will not travel on a plane for the remainder of 2020, and I have no intention of getting on a plane until this virus slows way down – a real curve promoted by doctors and scientist and not politicians. I don’t see the pleasure in traveling if I have to wear a mask at all time – not just on a plane. I don’t find pleasure in having to keep 6 feet apart at all times, not engaging with locals and being hampered by any number of rules. People want to bitch about freedom – well that’s not freedom to me. Throughout my life, I’ve always followed my gut. My intuition tells me to sit my ass at home.

  19. @GoAmtrak shouldn’t those “random people you pass on the sidewalk” be on isolation quarantine if they’re at risk?

  20. A very well timed article, Lucky! I had a dream the other night I was checking in for a flight and then looking for a lounge.

    For me, I have a booked a ticket from Canada to Tokyo mid-September so I can visit my wife on her birthday which will also be our 1st anniversary of our marriage registration. Barring any border closures or cancelled flights, I will be going.

    We were planning to move my wife over to Canada in July but we cancelled those plans as she won’t have any time to visit with her friends in Tokyo and moved the date to the end of November. On the positive side, I had enough points to get her a ticket in ANA First Class which will be a great way for her to celebrate her move to Canada.

  21. As I am thinking about this the trips I currently have booked are for late summer and fall. It’s just to early to figure out if I will cancel/move them or not. There is no need to make a decision on them right now so I will wait and see how the situation progresses.

  22. Same Justin as above. As I am thinking about this the trips I currently have booked are for late summer and fall. It’s just to early to figure out if I will cancel/move them or not. There is no need to make a decision on them right now so I will wait and see how the situation progresses.

  23. Factors I am considering:
    – Safety – when can I safely travel without undue risk to myself and others? In considering this, I am willing to use a mask and maintain appropriate social distancing.
    – Quality of the experience — When will A reasonable number of restaurants, museums, and similar travel venues be open? I don’t have any desire to travel somewhere just to isolate in a hotel.

    I’m hoping to do some domestic travel in the next few months. I expect it will be October or later before any foreign adventures. I’m looking forward to getting back to travel, but not trying to rush it.

  24. The leisure travel industry has been destroyed by this mass psychosis, to which you contributed, Lucky.

    Now instead of being a successful travel blogger and an SJW scold you’re just a scold.

    Who wants to travel from coast to coast wearing a face mask for at least 10 hours? That includes wearing it in Uber and the airports. Not the people to whom you’ve been peddling aspirational travel for the last decade.

  25. Based on the data and info we have now, COVID-19 is not as bad a virus as we initially thought. For the most vulnerable (elderly, pre-existing condition, etc), they should be careful and minimize traveling. [BTW, NYC had it bad because the official forced the nursing home to take back COVID-19 positive patients…what a stupid and deadly decision!] For everybody else, we should get back to normal but exercising precaution: wearing mask, distancing, practicing good hygiene, etc. Lock-down is statistically not better than just practicing social distancing.

    I have no personal concern with COVID-19 since I’m not an elderly person and in good shape. My risk is low (I’m sure we heard that a lot back in February before the lock-down). Some want to take zero risk, which is impossible. If that’s what you want, then you may want to hide in your house forever. There are hazards (risks) around us, from driving to just simply walking. We take calculated risks, and there’s no difference here. I won’t tell people what to do, but I would suggest that everyone determine your risk and what tolerance of risk one has and make your own choice.

  26. You travel when you personally think it’s time. Use your best judgement. No other factors like people’s opinions or criticisms need to come into play. We are all adults, do what’s best for yourself and your family. Don’t police others. Worry about yourself and stay in your lane.

  27. This article is couched in terms of being judged by others – but the only judgment that matters (beyond the law!) is your own.

  28. Since most of the travelers here are looking for a pleasant experience in the air, it is going to be a long time before that returns.
    Most of the airlines will have masked up flight attendants, limited services and a prevailing sense of anxiety. The post apocalyptic feel of the airports these days is depressing also.
    Went from Seattle to Honolulu last month and it was interesting seeing a whole runway filled with Hawaiian Airlines planes sitting two by two parked endlessly. Left me with a stark image of how hobbled the industry is when runways have no value other then for parking lots.

  29. @grrizzly – your argument is that lucky promoted recreational travel when things were safe and the promoted social responsibility when things were dangerous… and that’s a bad thing?

    You must be fun when you’re drunk.

  30. @Jan– You’re assuming that everyone else is *choosing* to be out in public versus *needing* to be. Essential workers keep us fed, housed, safe, online – and, yes – traveling if we so choose. Everyone I know who works in the medical field are continuing to beg their social networks to not leave home unless they need to.

    In the travel world, it’s so easy to lose sight of the immense privilege that many of us have. Most people are lucky to be able to scrape enough pennies together to take their kids to Disney once in their lives. Meanwhile some frequent flyers are acting like we’re all incarcerated just for being grounded for several months.

  31. Whether or not to travel if allowed is an individual decision. However, we should open up our businesses yesterday. The mortality rate of covid was vastly overstated and right now there are 20,184 available hospital beds in Florida and only 1,479 in use. Unless you are prepared to stay on lockdown for years you will have to come out at some point and yes we can do this in a prudent way. See Austria and Sweden for much smarter ways to have dealt with covid 19. The stay at home order is only delaying the number of deaths not stopping the loss of life as we have to get to 60% or so infected to have herd immunity and right now according to Miami U we are around 6%. This virus is coming back and whether we return to normalish tomorrow or next month the situation and the risk factors will be pretty much the same. The point of stay at home was to not overwhelm the healthcare system and we have achieved this goal and then some. In the meantime folks are not getting their heart valve surgeries or chemotherapy treatments and if we stall much longer many, many Floridians will permanently lose their ability to provide for their families as we are intentionally sending our economy into a greater depression. The damage from our reaction to this virus and the resulting economic devastation is likely to be much worse than the virus itself. In terms of a vaccine, we need to be prepared that it may never happen as we have never had a vaccine to treat a covid virus (think common cold) and this virus with already 30 known strains will for sure mutate more over time. Let’s have the elderly and those with medical issues stay on lock (Indeed everyone is free to stay in their home as long they wish) and the rest of us can carefully get back to work.

  32. Living in New York City, it seems I have higher risk to catch the virus while grocery shopping than if I were to travel to a cabin in the middle of nowhere.

  33. For the month of May a nature/hiking trip and posting pictures of it should be perfectly acceptable.

    For June, it will likely be acceptable to post pictures of family and friends meetup trips.

    For July it will be acceptable to post road trip pictures, as well as socially distance city trips etc.

    Christmas season will find international beach vacation trips acceptable.

    And then hopefully by next year summer a crowded parade, city, bar, club picture will be fine

  34. To all of the people saying “Not until we have a vaccine”, I guess you don’t realize that there is absolutely no guarantee we will ever have a successful vaccine for SARS-CoV-2. The timelines you are hearing are all guesses.

    We can’t just shut down the world forever to try to wait it out. The indirect health and welfare consequences of the global lockdown are already approaching those of the disease itself.

  35. I think it really depends where you are travelling to. I am planning on travelling to Chiang Mai and staying there for 2 months once Thailand opens the borders again. If a country has opened its borders I think it’s fine to travel as long as you are responsible and isolate again once back in your home country, or better yet, have access to a test upon your return.

  36. The people waiting for a vaccine are likely going to be waiting a very long time. The optimistic timelines put it 18-24 months out. The less optimistic ones, several years.

    @George, troll harder. 1/10.

  37. My opinion like many others as we all have one ***

    I think it’s safe to travel when the Country you are trying to enter/visit (Internationally) accepts visitors. I call that a pretty good indicator…..

  38. I believe the calculus is different for every traveler for every destination. Until there is a reliable vaccine, you MUST wear a mask, for the safety of others, must observe social distancing and not engage in risky behavior just because you are healthy and not afraid of getting the virus. But, you cannot attenuate the risk to zero and at some point you have to get on with work and other activities. I don’t want to ever see my elderly relatives board a cruise ship again before there is a reliable vaccine, no matter how healthy they appear to be. Likewise, even though I’ve had the virus and have antibodies, I wouldn’t tempt fate by assuming I could never get it again or that I would have another mild case the second time around. I would not travel to a destination where I didn’t feel comfortable with the standard of health care available or my access to high quality care should I become ill with the virus and need medical support. That rules out a lot of places, both domestically and internationally. I need to travel internationally for work and I’ll be careful about where and when I resume. Right now, I’m hoping to start back in mid October but if the borders are still closed, if arrival quarantines are required, restaurants and hotels largely shut down, I’ll just stay in my current holding pattern. I don’t believe there is a “one size fits all” solution any more than I believe that the risk isn’t high that this is a very contagious, deadly virus.

  39. Same as George above.

    I never stopped my domestic travel and it was great upgrades clearing on every transcon.

    I visited San Luis Obispo in the central coast twice where the sheriff is not enforcing the governor’s Karen orders.

  40. I hope I can travel from Europe to Canada and United States in August again, as I have booked.
    I would eben fly now if they would let me…

  41. We cannot wait to travel again until there is a vaccine because a vaccine is not something that is guaranteed. There are other diseases where millions of dollars have been poured into R&D over decades of time and still no vaccine has been developed. If a vaccine was guaranteed at a point in the future this would be a potential argument but no guarantee exists.

    I have June travel booked and have not yet cancelled.

    I will base my cancellation decision based on how safe I feel it is to fly. Whether I am in my home town city or another city is not relevant. I would do the same types of activities.

    I think you have to look at the place you are going. If the destination city is has closed museums and restaurants etc that I believe is the city signifying that they do not feel ready for visiting tourists (let alone their own citizens) so I would avoid going to those places for leisure unless it was to visit a friend, etc….

    Once a city opens up though, there is no more danger being in that city than there is being in your home town city. My city is still under a stay at home order but I get carry out food and I go to the park and I go to the coffee shop. So I can do those things anywhere.

    Once I feel comfortable flying I will happily travel again.

  42. I should be in London right now, that’s obviously not happening. NYC in June seems ill advised and has been cancelled. Next big question is Paris in September, but my concern is not just can I go, but will I want to go? I’m not looking for a ghost town experience.
    Really, I only have some confidence in a trip to see my mom in Sarasota next February…

  43. I booked a trip to Boca Raton over Labor Day before COVID. Over a year ago, I had a transatlantic cruise booked that left from Barcelona October 17. I made plans to fly over early and spend around 2 weeks in Portugal before leaving on my cruise. I just let my TA know that I am cancelling my cruise as I just don’t think it is safe, and i also think the cruise line will probably cancel it right before it is supposed to leave. But Portugal came through COVID fairly unscathed. So I booked nonstop flights from JFK to Lisbon and am planning a month in Portugal from mid-September to October. Everything is refundable. If I can’t go in museums, I can deal with that. I live in MA, so the risk in Portugal is much less than it is here. I will take precautions everywhere assuming I can go. Normally I would book tours, but I won’t do that this time. I will travel on my own. If it just means sitting and looking at the ocean, I am OK with that. I think my trip to FL is much more risky than my trip to Portugal. And I will reassess that trip closer to Labor Day and cancel if I need to.

  44. An effective and well tested vaccine is a pipe dream at this point. I’m not injecting some new untested vaccine to have the false illusion of safety. That said, I live in LA and I’ve been traveling extensively by car – Santa Barbara (where beaches and hiking trails are open), Las Vegas (hiking Mt. Charleston and Red Rock Park), going to Big Sur in early June (first stay at Ventana Resort), have a stay booked at Park Hyatt Aviara)… don’t feel comfortable flying yet but will start soon. We have to learn how to live with this new reality. So take your precautions and move forward.

  45. @GoAmtrak

    But you just likened leisure travelers to people who stab random people in the sidewalk with heroin needles. This is the hysteria-porn that lots of people are reverberating.

  46. My daughter, her husband and our 6 month old grandson live in a rabbit cage apartment in the London petri dish (fortunately we all spent 10 days in Switzerland in early February). Wasn’t going to visit London,but had a conference in Liege this summer. That is cancelled.

    Also have tickets to Perth via CX, In F and J class in November. Hard to see that happening. No vaccine, but we’re 60+ and good health. Not worth the risk.

    So for us, wilderness canoe camping and backpacking in the Adirondacks, 2 hours away. Thankfully we have that option.

  47. Based on where we are with the disease in the United States, I do not anticipate being welcome to enter many countries in 2020. Domestic travel of some sort will likely happen this summer, albeit only to go back east and/or FL to visit family/friends and get our son into a pool so he can learn to swim. Not at all certain if that will be by air or road.

  48. I’ve decided for myself to give humanity, all countries and the planet a long break to recover from the ill effects of transportation & tourism and don’t plan to participate in such for 2 to 5 years. Driving for 5 to 8 hours to get someplace might be the most I’m willing to consider as personally acceptable. Still a work in progress, but this time has been an opportunity for me to retool a lot of what I’ve taken for granted, and to consider the impact of my choices on all creation.

  49. I think about this a lot given my own personal circumstances.

    There is no definitive answer, honestly. Every effort we make has an effect and it is that cumulative effect that makes the difference. Adding bottles of hand sanitiser around an airport and requiring masks isn’t going to do much.

    I suspect measures in the US will be frivolous hygienic theatrics. I have little faith nor would I take cues from the airline industry, the politicians, much of anything there. I would base my decisions on infection rates and mortality rates alone along with my own records of quarantine.

    A worldwide vaccine program – that’s going to take a long time. The time alone to develop one that is safe and effective is fairly significant. Worldwide rollout and compliance… significantly longer. Looking at years until then. I would not wait until then (personally, I actually can’t)

    Contact tracing is probably our most useful tool. This may be an interesting requirement for check-in given the contact tracing apps being developed purportedly do not include personal data (including location). It would be an interesting requirement to be made to submit a 14 day previous history of “clear” contact tracing data upon entry to a country or be subject to 14 day quarantine. This would be useless within the US given open borders between states and no borders within states. Internationally, it could prove helpful.

    Generally speaking, international public health surveillance will have to play a major role. I suspect more countries will begin to engage in vaccine requirements or antibody tests (if and when we find out that positive antibody tests and relevant thresholds due in fact demonstrate immunity and for how long).

    At the bare minimum, origin, destination, and any transiting locations should be free from new cases for at least 2 weeks or showing a significant decline of cases and mortalities over the last 4 weeks.

    In cases of hotels and some other services, I hope the days of buffet breakfast are over. Or frankly anything in which all the customers take things with their hands from shared trays/bowls/platters/etc (like the box of chocolates after dinner services on some flights). Gross. There are numerous small things within service that are viewed as “luxury” that actually encourage decreased exposure to anything.

    (I have a relatively unique perspective as I’m an international student with chronic health issues who travels fairly frequently. I encounter far too many people who simply don’t care, who think my life is worth less than theirs, that I should stay locked up forever, that I deserve to pay extortionate amounts of money to leave my home (that is difficult to earn because people are extraordinarily discriminatory in their hiring practices and demand the “freedom” to pay people like me less on purpose because they think I am worth less) or that I should just die or become significantly ill at their expense for “fun” or “freedom” (as if my “fun” or “freedom” is entirely irrelevant or that I somehow have the same choices in all of this).

    I have to relocate in 6 months time when my current degree program comes to an end. And I will have to do so in very uncertain circumstances. I’m hoping that I don’t have to do so in a situation where I am risking my health so severely, where I don’t know what is going on. That, for me, is the worst – not knowing. With known viral seasons, it’s fairly predictable that I need to prepare for certain things. I travel often even during flu season. I get a flu shot every year. I also rock an N95 mask sometimes during peak seasons. I prefer intra-European style business class because more often than not, I get a whole row of seating to myself as opposed to domestic US First Class where I’m actually stuck sitting next to someone. I’m the person who wipes down business class seats/nooks/crannies with disinfectant wipes and flies on specific types of planes to minimise my health risks. I do what I can at great expense to my wallet and my dignity. But life isn’t fair and hey, at least I get champagne out of it. For me to fly long distance, I would not be entirely uncomfortable right now as I’m accustomed to some of the measures being taken. And a lot of the other measures are kind of like a “thank goodness, it’s about time we did that, it only took a pandemic”)

  50. I think it would be a different conversation if the risk was only to yourself, but the risk is to others. Many of us are young and healthy, and would probably go through this unscathed. But if we are out and about all the time, we could get this, not notice and spread it to those who can’t survive it. There’s a very good chance I won’t be able to see either of my grandparents ever again, because unless I travel to them, and quarantine for two weeks there’s a very real possibility I can spread this to them. Obviously that was a risk that existed before, but the fact that the virus affects different people in very different ways makes it so much harder to be sure.

    The little island nations that have the fancy hotels we like to visit don’t have the infrastructure to handle a large outbreak successfully.

    I think shorter, domestic trips are reasonable depending on where you’re going in the coming months. But anything international grandiose is out of the question for awhile.

    I think it has to get to the point where everyone can carry around test kits with them and test themselves everyday.

  51. I think for me it will be a case of when a city/state/region/country is openly inviting tourism without a 14 day quarantine, and the majority of services are fully open.

    I work in healthcare and waiting on a vaccine is a big gamble with a virus. In 1983 the CDC promised an HIV vaccine “within 2 years” and here we are 37 years later after billions of dollars of research with no vaccine. Also 17 years after SARS there’s still never been an effective and commercially viable vaccine. Even if we do get a vaccine in 2021, look to the effectiveness of the flu vaccine: in a good year it is about 35% effective. So people hoping for a miracle with a vaccine are likely going to be disappointed.

  52. Once the place you are going from, and going to, has the infection satisfactorily under control, supressed, and sharp test track and trace in place to the extent it is happy for most of its economy that isn’t concerts and sport events to be allowed. Stay domestic unless you are from somewhere so small that would be some sort of joke, city state type places. If the destination have arrivals quarantine of 7 days i would consider travelling for a long leisure break, if 14 then not.

  53. I don’t get the resistance to mask wearing In crowded spaces. It’s essential if we want to end lockdowns.

    Personally, I think rapid, accurate, and available testing will spur a full re-opening. It’s delusional to trust that a vaccine will eradicate the disease when the virus can evolve over a time scale of weeks. As soon as a vaccine is deployed against one strain, it will disappear and a vaccine-resistant variant (with different “spikes”) will become prevalent.

  54. Any travel for work outside of the health care industry should be banned. We dont need trade shows, conferences or conventions. There is no need for sales meetings.

  55. Not until after there’s an effective vaccine, and everybody has been vaccinated. Yes, everyone.

  56. @HantaV: There is no vaccine for HIV and Ebola. You may be caved in your house for 100 years if you wait for a vaccine.

  57. I’ve done 3 trips in the last 5 days. Is it responsible? Depends on your perspective. As far as I am concerned, if I am willing to send my staff out to work on the front lines, I would be remiss to not be willing to be out there myself.

  58. The ask was to not overrun the health industry level of resources. I complied and took it to an extreme most didn’t.

    Now that we didn’t overrun the health industry, and proved we can mitigate the spread, I don’t see why we should still be sheltering until a vaccine is widely available. That is irresponsible and penny-wise, pound-foolish. We can all be responsible adults, and also engage in activity/travel while doing our best to be respectful to others.

  59. Interesting question. Cancelled our Christmas trip (Mulhouse, Nancy, Colmar, Strasbourg and Rome)–not comfortable planning that it’s safe–or prudent–to travel internationally this coming winter, and the joy of Christmas in St. Peter’s is about being close to one’s fellow humans. Of course, I’ve also had the distinct pleasure of four bouts of pneumonia–two viral–and don’t relish the prospect of courting a fifth.

    Also cancelled our trip last month to Japan; not re-scheduled.

    When I need to work downstate (LA metroplex), once their Human Services offices re-open for in-person services, I will be driving, as I don’t really feel inclined to take a CRJ-200 from SMF, and my car seat offers substantially better pitch. Even in the backseat.

    Next trip tentatively scheduled is a chunk of time in September 2021–possibly to Spain. I will feel comfortable traveling either when there are reliable tests for antibodies and my wife and I receive affirmative results on at least three (and even then I will wear a mask for the comfort of others), or when there’s a proven vaccine.

    At this point, I’m glad we spent last September and October in Europe, though it now feels half a lifetime ago.

  60. Until we have a way to guarantee that folks aren’t asymptomatic carriers, people who are traveling for non essential purposes are rolling the dice with other people’s health. I believe it is irresponsible, bar none.

    I can empathize with people’s anxieties, but I cannot abide by folks thinking that this is a personal choice when the possible impacts are societal and heavily concentrated amongst those who can’t travel for fun.

    No man is an island, especially not during a pandemic.

  61. My mother and mother-in-law are in their late 70s. I can’t in good conscious expect to travel and see them on a regular basis. If it was just me, I’d probably be more aggressive. Similar to getting any vaccine, I do it as much for the greater good as to protect myself.

  62. Any employer who sends their staff to fly on work trips needs to be held accountable and thrown in prison for attempted murder is their employees get sick.

  63. When US Airline lounges/Centurion Clubs reopen is a good indicator to start traveling again.

    Surprised by @George @Teo who are willing to admit here that they’re traveling non-essentially. I WOULD BE EMBARRASSED. You’re taking advantage of others. #staysafe #playfair

  64. Vaccine, nothing else, is unequivocally the ultimate answer to resume a normal life until it is not as effective to fight the virus, like anti-biotic when it is overly abused. Those who question the effectiveness of vaccine belong to pseudo science cult. Airplanes, airports, cars, electronics and hotels are built and advanced solely on science and facts. No medical professionals advocate a gradual or speedy opening when the basic requirements of PPE, testing, quarantine and tracing are unmet. No reputable economists support human sacrificial lambs to enhance economic recovery. US is no longer the wealthiest or strongest country. Absence of credential in either field entitles nobody to dispute them. It was the world’s largest creditor in the 50s and 60s and now is the largest debtor. It cannot be the strongest due to its crony capitalism, dysfunctional political system, a violent and defiant population. Contrary to those who claim the young and healthy are not impacted, studies and researchers show that the young suffer heart and lung damages. When medical professionals fell victim or died, we must have the decency and competency to adhere to their recommendations. You have freedom to engage in risky lifestyle then we have the right to be alive six feet apart from each other while watching you six feet under. US will become authoritarian when the medical professionals, meat packaging staff, grocery staff refuse to report to work because their co-workers’ deaths serve the pleasure, not necessity, of those who insist on pursuing life as old normal and refuse to bunker down and adapt to the new normal. It is highly retarded to continue comparing this deadly infectious virus to those that came within four decades ago, or justify the mounting deadly consequences akin to those of car accidents or seasonal flu. This is pandemic not epidemic. No border closure, economic shutdown, no medical professionals’ fatalities, ever documented within the last four decades. Are we confident that other countries will welcome us or shun us like plague, watching in horror how our incompetent leadership and defiant population handling the virus? Observe the leadership of US, UK and Brazil and we will find countless denominators and consequences. Travelers are the top virus carrier into the country. Jordan sustains ten deaths and Vietnam suffers none, which is China’s southern neighbor.
    It is a shame to even mention Florida’s records of handling the virus as its data reports are much more cynical and deceptive than that of China’s.

  65. I have a former co-worker here in the Detroit area who just flew down to Miami with her kids and hubby, to “close their apartment” in SoBe and they showed off pics of a completely empty beach beyond the parking garage. And then went to Naples, since there was nothing to do in one of DeSantis’s hot spots. They tend to see things from one end of the spectrum.
    We don’t plan to travel domestically until August, if then. We have an 94 y/o in our family we haven’t hugged in months, and who knows when we will. If we can’t have any assurances as to our possibility of being asymptomatic, do we forego travel forever? For another year? Our travel plans to France in June were cancelled by Delta and the EU. No worries, getting all my points and dollars refunded, as far as I can tell.
    If this ends up being an HIV/AIDS or SARS, then we adjust and move on. And make more travel plans for 2021 and beyond, domestically and internationally.

  66. Not traveling out of the country unless it’s really needed. It doesn’t matter how good things are where you live and where you travel, if you’re in an airport you are likely going to, through or at least be exposed by other travelers within whichever airport you are using for traveling. If I can’t drive there I’m not going until sometime next year.

  67. Some of you people are going to be waiting a long time—maybe forever—to fly again: Humanity has never successfully created a vaccine against any coronavirus.

    Personally, I will start flying as soon as border closures start lifting.

  68. Just fully read through the comments and Jesus…the level of virtue signaling here is unbelievable.

    This is a disease with a likely case fatality rate of around 0.4% for the general population. Refusing to live your life because of a greater risk to older, sicker populations (the only people for whom “self-isolation“ makes sense) doesn’t make you a hero—it makes you a sucker.

  69. When I receive a positive antibody test result, indicating that I’ve already had the disease.

    It’ll happen.

  70. First tropical country with a reef opens up, I’ll be out the door.

    Get busy living or get busy dying.

    I choose living

  71. I have a flight AA PHX-LAX-MIA on 05/28/20 and the first class cabin is full from PHX-LAX, but only 4 seats are occupied from LAX-MIA including me and my GF. From what I see on the seat maps, the planes are 1/3 full, so some other people may feel safe to fly.
    I’ve been practicing self isolation since 02/17/2020, so it’s going to be about 3.5 months for me. I’m itching! As long as we practice good distancing, have protection I think we will be fine on the planes. They are being cleaned more than ever at this point. International is a different beast, and I will stay domestically until the end of 2021.

    This is a very subjective answer, and I believe all answers will vary, but personally I think flying responsibly comes from the individual themselves, and their destination.

  72. @Robert Schrader On a positive note, if these virtue-signaling Karens never set foot on an airplane again, then all is good – realists get more upgrade space. Like I said, it’s win-win for all parties

  73. I might drive to visit family who have also been staying at home and wearing masks in public, but, I am not going to travel until testing and contact tracing are at the levels the experts say they need to be… because of asymptomatic spread and people like Robert Schrader.

  74. I personally won’t be travelling again until they invent 100% reliable teleportation. Safety above all!

  75. If anyone is “virtue signaling” it is the people who are saying that others are virtue signaling.

    “Look at me and how it won’t ever happen to me, or anyone like me, or with as much value as me and my life.”

    The virus doesn’t care about your feelings.

  76. @Qwerty – Nobody is saying that. As the Prime Minister of Japan has said, we can’t shelter in place forever. Eventually COVID-19 is something we’re just gonna have to live with.

  77. @Robert Schrader – Have you actually paid attention to the daily mortality rate in the US. It’s 5.9%. I realize nearly 30% of the deaths include older Americans, but it’s impacting young people also. Don’t buy into the “well, if I get it I get it”. This is something you don’t want.

    Note to others – Don’t be Robert.

  78. @Kenindfw – This is extreme misinformation. The best we can currently do is estimate mortality. The estimates we currently have range from a mortality of that of the average influenza season to something a small multiple of that. So say 0.4% to 1%.

  79. I’m waiting here until Tiffany corrects @kenindfw’s brazenly wrong numbers. Still waiting.

  80. The true Karens: Exceptionalist snowflakes who feel entitled to traipse around anywhere, anytime as if their actions could have no consequences.

    Yes, the lockdowns will have to end eventually, but not without an effective public health response and *definitely* not because any of us are special. We ain’t.

  81. @grrizzly – I’ve attempted to correct, but have not seen a post “approved”.

  82. For those of you who put “irresponsibility” of giving this to others on the shoulders of everyone else out there living their lives – I expect you all are leaders of an advocy group that stands up and screams for the rights of children around the globe who are unwillingly subjected to the horrifying affects of secondhand smoke by their smoking parents? Oh wait, you aren’t. Okay, then stop passing judgement to the rest of us. Just sayin’

  83. By now it is very apparent that certain populations are more susceptible to becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, namely those with weakened immune systems and multiple comorbidities. So far, less than 0.004% of the world’s population has died from COVID-19 and 80% of these deaths have occurred in those 65 years and older. Even if the IFAR were *anything* remotely close to the current global CFAR of 7.09%, at least 93% of people who actually get COVID-19 will survive it…most likely many more. I think it is safe to assume that everyone knows their own age and has a reasonable self-awareness of their overall state of health. Therefore, I think it is equally safe to assume that people who know or suspect they are part of this <7% high-risk population are also being responsible to themselves and to society by self-isolating, social distancing, and quarantine.

    Assuming, then, that the high-risk population is *actually* following these distancing guidelines, it is absolutely responsible for the remaining 93%+ of the population to start traveling again…immediately. Don't blame someone else for giving you the virus. Either get the virus, accept it, and survive it or blame yourself for getting close enough to others to be able to receive it!

  84. @annabelle costa – Get over yourself. There are plenty of other essential services than just healthcare workers. I’d love to see how anyone would last more than a week in lockdown without transportation providers, utility workers, farmers, etc..

  85. Lots of different interpretations of “responsible” out there and it looks like some might never leave their house again. They’ll either be waiting for a new vaccine (see AIDS) or sitting out the every flu season which, based on current data, is likely to have a similar or worse CFR than Covid-19.

    Made plans for the family to fly for Memorial Day but would go now

  86. @ Colin @ grizzly — What am I missing with @kenindfw’s numbers? If you divide the number of total probable coronavirus deaths in the U.S. (73,599) by the number of confirmed total cases in the U.S. (1,249,696) from the CDC, you will get 0.058893, which is appropriately rounded to 5.9%. The Johns Hopkins tracker (at the bottom of the page here: https://onemileatatime.com/coronavirus/) using yesterday’s totals puts that math at 0.0592 — again, 5.9%.

    Now, one could argue that the real number of total cases is potentially much higher, which would correspondingly decrease the mortality rate, but barring a robust and efficient testing plan, that likely won’t be happening, and is a conversation I have with my congresswoman’s office every week. And you could also point out that there is intense regional variation (the mortality rate in New York state is above 7% in aggregate though there are obviously areas where that isn’t the case), or that the mortality rate in Iceland (where they are testing a larger sampling of their population, and engaging in aggressive contact tracing) is 0.0055. or 0.56%. Or you could note that these numbers will also likely be revised (though likely death totals will be revised *up*, which is what typically happens after cold/flu season, because states report at different rates, death certificates take time to be issued, etc.) and an eventual increase in testing would increase the denominator, potentially lowering the overall totals. Those would all be valid points.

    But there is nothing “brazenly wrong” with these numbers. The official mortality rate of COVID-19 in the U.S. at present is roughly 5.9%.

  87. I assume you are asking about the situation when you have a choice to travel or not. In that case I will only travel if the whole experience will be enjoyable. I don’t see much reason to go anywhere and have to be constantly conscious about what I touch, the distance between me and the next person, having to wear a face mask everywhere, etc.

    Since this is not going to be our reality any time soon, I have just cancelled our Thanksgiving trip to Singapore.

  88. @[email protected]

    I would love an article about which countries borders are OPEN for travel. For example – I know Argentina has closed borders until September. I have a trip to Colombia booked for late July, and am to assume if the flight from America is operating they will let me enter the country?

    I think those of us with mid to late summer travel booking would much appreciate.

  89. We can’t walk through life with a safety net. There are many things can kill us. Heart disease, obesity, cancer, drunk drivers, HIV/AIDS, etc. The thing is we do what we can to manage it and take the proper precautions to reduce our risk. It’s not 100% guaranteed, and people will still die, but it’s the best we can do. We can’t keep the world shut down and life needs to move on.

  90. @Tiffany, thank you for bringing some sanity to this discussion. Even if the mortality rate is lower due to the number of people who are not being tested, the actual number of deaths 72K now, 100K+ by the end of the month is horrendous. If some people think that this is ok and shouldn’t affect their traveling plans, it is just irresponsible. my 2 cents

  91. @Tiffany – Come on. To use your own words, it is complete misinformation to imply (which is what the poster was doing) that 5.9% of the people that contract the virus in the US will die. It’s nonsense, and should not be something discussed in a forum discussing when it is responsible to travel again.

    While your numbers (which conveniently combine probably death with confirmed cases) are “correct” statistically speaking, they are absolutely worthless without context. They add literally zero value. As I previously said, the best we can possibly do is estimate the mortality rate, and the estimates we currently have (which have only gone down through the pandemic), put the actual mortality close to the numbers Iceland is seeing. The high rate of infectiousness, however, still means there will be many many deaths.

    To claim the “official mortality rate in the US 5.9%” is utterly irresponsible. We’re on a forum with people, and I hope we all want everyone to be well informed to make the decisions this entire post is regarding.

    There is no official mortality, at present. Anyone claiming otherwise is simply wrong. There are estimates. It is these estimates we should be using to form opinions and make decisions.

  92. @Colin,

    Jan and Robert Schrader are saying exactly “that,” putting themselves before others and mocking people with empathy.

    “Eventually COVID-19 is something we’re just gonna have to live with”

    All of the reputable experts around the world and across the political spectrum are saying that widespread testing, including of asymptomatic people, and contact tracing, is the way forward. Not throwing up our hands and “liv[ing] with it.” That strategy has been a huge success in Germany, South Korea, and elsewhere. The political and medical leadership in most of the world, and in US states like Washington and California, is pursuing that strategy.

    The President, tragically, has decided that his reelection strategy will turn on letting thousands of people die and convincing enough survivors to forget and live with it. Expect more from your government.

  93. According to the CDC, 80% of deaths in the US have been adults 65 years old and older. 80% not 30%. Yet the country is full of ignorant healthy young people who are afraid that they can die from the virus.

  94. I’m ready to travel right now. But obviously there are barriers to that happening, like border restrictions and quarantine rules. Like Lucky, I have an EU passport, and I’d rather be in an apartment in Europe right now than in the U.S., but I know that, despite being an EU citizen, if I traveled to Europe right now, I would face quarantine rules in most countries and wouldn’t be able to find a hotel — I’d also be judged by local people as irresponsible.

    So, I don’t know? If Portugal were to reopen to European tourists — and not have a quarantine requirement — I’d consider flying from the U.S. to spend a month(s) there.

    The U.S. is always less pleasant than the EU or Latin America — the only reason to be here is to work, but that’s not happening in an office right now anyway.

  95. Take a look at the history of human corona virus vaccines. It’s a fantasy. Effective treatment faaaaaaar more likely. In the meantime don’t travel to nursing homes.

  96. As for international travel resuming, regardless of borders, hotels and restaurants reopening, there have to be flights. And flights aren’t going to resume unless and until people feel safe traveling. And if you think old people don’t factor into that equation, you haven’t paid attention to who were filling seats on international flights prior to the virus. If demand isn’t there, planes aren’t going out half empty. Regardless of whether the over 65 crowd feels safe in the absence of an effective vaccine or treatment, there are plenty of younger people who have suffered significant negative financial impact from this crisis who not be returning to international destinations any time soon. We’re all in this together so it’s not just your narrow self-interest that determines when travel resumes.

  97. Tiffany, I generally find you to be a voice of reason on here, but your understanding of infectious disease is superficial at best.

    According to five recent serological studies (I’ll leave it up to you to Google these), we are underestimating the infection rate by between 10-50x. At the same time, we are like over-estimating deaths, given that we count people as dying “from” COVID, even if they die “with” the virus (and say, 3-4 other co-morbidities, one of which actually killed them).

    Seriously, turn off your TV. And put on your thinking cap.

  98. I’m traveling next week! Nothing major just a road trip and hotel at a beach for a few days. Next state has restaurants back open so getting out of the house.

    Frankly it is a personal decision. If states or countries are open and welcome travel you have the right to go. If you are scared or feel you shouldn’t travel that is fine also but YOUR decision. I’ll honor whatever protocols are in place but not stayed wholes up worried about what could happen to me or others!

    BTW there may NEVER be an effective vaccine and this is something we live (and die) with until it runs its course. That is part of the risk/reward of opening up the economy and travel. However no one should tell ANYONE else what to do or try to shame them for not doing what you think they should.

  99. I’m lucky enough to live in a country (Australia) hasn’t been badly hit and has largely got the infection under control. Government is signalling that international travel is not going to happen for a long while and the first places we can go will be other countries that have their infections under control. New Zealand will probably be soon and that’s great because rice never been there.

    How I think it’s going to work for us is

    1) travel to safe countries will be allowed and that may just be New Zealand
    2) Migrants will be allowed in subject to a 14 day manadatory quarantine – this allows students and migrants to start coming again
    3) travel will be allowed subject to a manadatory 14 day quarantine in a hotel under guard
    4) this will be relaxed to 14 day self isolation at home

    I’d only really consider travel to a non- safe country at stage 4 of that and then only if my wife agrees. I work from home but my wife goes to work and an extra 14 days would be inconvenient for her.

    Also whilst I haven’t had the virus, many of my friends back home in London have. So-called mild cases are far from pleasant and a lot worse than the the flu, lasting several weeks being very painful at time and with effects on breathing and overall health long after ‘recovery’. I’d rather not risk that especially if I end up sick in a foreign country with travel insurance that excludes corona treatment. So any travel I choose to do will be to countries that have the infection largely under control without evidence of community transmission.

    Finally wherever I go has to be open to a certain degree. What’s the point of going to Tokyo if you can’t sit in an Izakaya with friends over a few tokkuri of sake?

    I’m assuming travel outside of Australia and New Zealand will be next year sometime, but that skiing in July looks a real possibility. So that’s good.

  100. Anyone claiming to know the mortality rate is on a fool’s errand.

    Every reputable science and medical organization will tell you that attempting to attach a mortality rate during an ongoing pandemic is worthless.

    From the NY Times, just one of the many places where this is discussed. Anything else is naive math by people who are searching for a simplistic view of a complex problem.

    Determining death rates is especially challenging in the midst of a pandemic, while figures are necessarily fluid. Fatality rates based on comparing deaths, which are relatively easy to count, to infections, which are not, almost certainly overestimate the true lethality of the virus, epidemiologists say. Health officials and epidemiologists have estimated there are five to 10 people with undetected infections for every confirmed case in some communities, and at least one estimate suggests there are far more.

    On top of that, deaths lag infections. The thousands of people with Covid-19 who died this week in the United States were most likely infected as far back as a month ago. So as the number of new cases reported begins to fall in hard-hit places like New York City, the death rate will almost certainly rise.

    “To know the fatality rate you need to know how many people are infected and how many people died from the disease,” said Ali H. Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. “We know how many people are dying, but we don’t know how many people are infected.”

  101. My test is simple:

    I will consider travel responsible when public health officials in the destination and my home country both say it is safe to travel.

  102. @Colin – Thanks for bringing some rational perspective. You are correct that reporting the 5.9% CFR is completely misleading and irresponsible to report.
    Alas, regurgitating such misleading stats and models put the world in the current state of lock down and strangled the economy Sadly, i don’t think most people are aware that COViD-19 case counts (the denominator) are just those tested and that actual infection rates based upon some of the anti-body testing currently going on in CA and other places is 50 to 80 x the tested rates..which would make the CFR about 0.1%.

  103. And the answer is, it’s YMMV until there is a proven vaccine.

    Before there is a general way to get inoculated against SARS-CoV-2, each person must do their own risk-to-benefit ratio and decide how much risk is too much. The bug is much more lethal than seasonal flu, making an effective vaccine mandatory not only to achieve some semblance of normalcy with respect to travel risks, but also if we are to avoid the seasonal recurrence of the types of disruptions that we are now living through. Once has been more than plenty…

  104. @ Robert Schrader — Statistical analyses in those serological studies have been widely questioned (read: debunked).

  105. Wake up…
    Unless the US controls the growth (which wont happen until Govt & selfish people wake up and see that lockdown is the only way out) in my opinion no country that has successfully controlled/contained it is going to accept travelers from an uncontrolled one like USA.. I am an avid International Traveler with family scattered around the globe and cant see countries letting us in for SOMETIME to come.

  106. @Tiffany You mean “problematic methodologies” like the one quarantine-breaking adulterer (and chronically wrong statistical modeler) Neil Ferguson used to predict that 500,000 Brits and 2.2 million Americans would perish from COVID, thus forcing the entire Western world into lockdown for two months?

    I get being skeptical and cautious, but we have to be consistent across the board. There is no concrete evidence that mass lockdowns and social distancing are the silver bullet that “experts” like Mr. Ferguson claim they are. Even Dr. Gottlieb, whom I’d say has the most outspoken proponent of both, recently admitted as much.

    But whatever! Go on being afraid, and feeling like you’re saving the lives of others when you’re really just wasting your own.

    BTW @SeanM I agree with you 100%. As Mike Rowe recently said, in a capitalist society, every job is essential. Moreover, while I feel for healthcare professionals, it’s not like (at least in the US anyway) they are charity workers. Doctors and nurses make a good living; part of the calculation that goes into their high salaries is the risk at which they need to sometimes put themselves. They’re brave, bold and intelligent people, but no one held a gun to their head and forced them to go into the medical field.

  107. @Tiffany – I really find that argument suspect, and concerning, that you find it reasonable to use the “published” (previously you called this the “official”) CFR to use for decision and policy making purposes. It is literally the definition of a terrible statistic.

    Many aspects of our world are based solely on estimates and we put myriad trust in our statisticians (and the like) to engage in proper sampling technique and come to sound conclusions. The fact that you choose to completely ignore this now and rely on the literal worst statistic you have a your disposal is interesting to me.

    I’m not some warrior for reopening everything. I did my part to lockdown and avoid contact with anyone for weeks, in hopes we wouldn’t overrun our healthcare industry. Even if the CFR was extremely low, if everyone becomes infected, that is a serious problem. It’s also something we all need to keep in mind as we move forward, because it’s a very dynamic situation. But we must move forward, and stop being pound-foolish.

  108. Why it has to be a choice between reckless travel and indefinite stay-at-home? If you feel like you are responsible enough(don’t do reckless things that could infect others) to travel, then do it. I don’t think I could do that while enjoy my time, so I won’t travel until I feel safe. But if you think you are responsible enough to do it, then go ahead and enjoy your life!

  109. The don’t-be-a-pansy-because-many-things-can-kill-you argument is not logically sound, yet I keep seeing it repeated again and again, including in these comments. Car crashes, obesity, etc, aren’t contagious. Yes, there are other sometimes fatal contagious diseases, but COVID-19 is far more contagious than the common flu, for example, and more deadly, and I am not aware of another viral disease that is as fatal as COVID-19, spreads as easily, and is as widespread around the world, are you? The rationale for not traveling unless you absolutely must is to not be a conduit for the spread of the virus. Yet I see so many people only thinking of themselves. It’s not a matter of being afraid of dying. It’s a matter of wanting to do the right thing in limiting the spread of the virus. Traveling does not make you brave.

    As to your questions Lucky, have been thinking about them a lot. I think I’ll start traveling when testing is much more readily available, which hopefully won’t be TOO far in the future. I was going to spend June and September in the Republic of Georgia for work purposes with probably some bopping around western Europe before and after visiting friends, etc. Maybe that all can happen in September? I haven’t bought any tickets yet. Who knows. I am worried that countries will be hesitant to accept Americans though given our current trajectory.

  110. I had a plan to go to Norway, Iceland, and Denmark this summer. That’s clearly out the window since even if international borders are open, I don’t want to go to a city where I can’t get a professional guide to show me around, eat at local Michelin star restaurants because they are closed, visit local museums, etc. It’s pointless to go really if I can’t enjoy what’s on offer locally. And frankly speaking, with US have the highest number of infected people (most likely due to the fact that we have the resources to test people vs places like Brazil or Iran), I would be surprised if other countries want Americans on their soil! My plan to go to Greece, Turkey, Monaco, and south of France in September looks like a bust as well. But there is always next year or the year after. I have plans to go to Japan, Myanmar, and Philippines next spring. We shall see how that goes….

    I would feel comfortable to travel internationally when: 1. International borders are open and I don’t have to quarantine 14 days. I don’t think that’s happening any time soon. 2. Destination has a good healthcare system/ Or minimally close to a country that has a good healthcare system that I can medivac to. 3. Low cases of active Covid 19 patients. For example, I would be fine going to HK or Taiwan right now but definitely not China where I can’t trust their number or countries like Thailand/ Indonesia where numbers are artificially low because their economy relies heavily on tourism. 4. Very high compliance rate of people wear masks because they are interested in protecting one another. Can’t say the same thing about some selfish Americans we have in LA, Detroit, Beaches in FL, etc. I don’t know why anyone would want to come here when this pandemic is still active.

    The point is I think finding a vaccine anytime soon (within a year) is a fool’s dream. But there are ways to lower infection rate (i.e. wear your mask and social distancing) to diminish this virus. As long as people follow health experts’ guidelines, we should be fine.

  111. I personally find it irresponsible to travel from a highly infected country to any country that has an inadequate health care system even if they have opened up for tourism. Mexico was very late to close its borders and one of the hardest hit cities just happens to be Cancun. Tourists were the vector. Now if the US and some countries believe they can sue China then countries like Mexico should be able to sue the US. If the country you want to visit does mandatory quarantine upon arrival that would be a separate issue.

  112. Ah forgot a point: In addition to an increase in testing, I won’t travel until new cases have decreased significantly in my home country and destination. As for domestic travel within the US, I just don’t know. It doesn’t seem wise just yet, but travel by car to overnight stays, hopefully soon, once cases start decreasing and testing is more available.

  113. First me, the bellwether is going to be when PPE like N95 masks are again available to the general public in venues like Amazon or Home Depot. The point of social distancing wasn’t to make it so noone got sick, but rather to keep the curve under the throughout of our public health system.

    When I can buy an N95 mask off the shelf again is what I’m looking for to know that capacity had been ramped up for the public health system.

  114. It’s sad to see so many comments are saying “me me me me me” instead of thinking about your neighbours, essential workers at grocery stores, nurses that are fighting COVID-19. Yeah you might be safe & asymptomatic if you contracted the virus, what about the people that you will pass the virus onto?

  115. I know @lucky said he was just dreaming but I think there’s a lot of dreaming going on everywhere here! Prior to this, I practically lived on an aeroplane and at this point have an enormous amount of international airline credit vouchers rather than refunds because I know I will travel again and am looking forward to that day. I hope it will be sooner rather than later for everyone’s sake but as the old saying goes – better late than never.

    At the moment I couldn’t leave Australia even if I wanted to because our borders have been locked down for some time. Freight, charters and emergency flights (except for Qatar who keeps flying?) are the only flights getting across our borders. There is no longer any domestic travel by plane or otherwise between states. New Zealand has been on lockdown even longer than Australia. Now I realise these are small countries but guess what, they also now have the lowest rates of infections. Many Asian countries also have their borders closed and have limited travel as well and have control of their infection rates. So until our borders and those of other countries open up, its not an individual choice, its government decree. Maybe we will get a travel bubble between Australia and NZ in a few months but as I travel there all the time for work anyway, that is definitely not an incentive in my case. Who knows when we will be able to travel further afield.

    Added to this, we had horrific bushfires earlier in the year (2020 has been a humdinger so far!) and had been urged to support businesses on the coast afterwards which people started to do but sadly, for the past month, the stay at home orders have left those businesses in even worse shape. Now, we are heading towards ski season and it looks like ski resorts will remain closed which will be crippling for them particularly as many were also devastated by bushfires and missed their summer hiking season. Economically Covid-19 will be felt for a very long time worldwide.

    The US has the highest numbers of Covid-19 & as we know, people are asymptomatic while they are out there spreading. Why would anyone want to contribute to that either domestically or internationally? Most of Australia’s infections came from travellers from the USA – people who went skiing or boarded the dreaded cruise ships, people who thought they knew better and who kept moving around even after the virus had first been detected. I might be wrong but I can’t imagine that any person living outside the US at the present time would board a plane into the US in its current situation of devastation and inequity.

    I don’t expect nor am I waiting for a vaccine to travel, after all we still haven’t cured the common cold. Covid-19 or no doubt its many successors may just become the norm but at the present time, its important to just find out what the hell it is and hopefully get it under control or at the very least determine what the best global plan going forward is.

    Lets face it, Anne Frank sat in an attic for two years and none of our lockdowns are even vaguely like that so lets dream for a little while rather than spending time on “work arounds”.

  116. @jane blogs If you need to reference Anne Frank to make your argument, you have already lost. Christ on a crutch!

  117. @jane blogs

    You don’t even know the history of your own outbreak, blaming it on Americans.

    Let me help you, one of the first cases came from Melbourne from a Chinese tourist from Wuhan. The next cases were in Sydney, AGAIN, from 3 travelers to Wuhan. Add in to that your OWN citizens from the infected cruise ship who brought in the virus.

    By February, you had citizens from the Diamond Princess, more Wuhan visitors and some coming in from Iran. Quit blaming the US and look to your own border issues.

    Your first death was a Diamond Princess passenger, a citizen of your own country.

    Place the blame where it is due.

  118. “Get busy living, or get busy…spreading a pandemic and killing thousands of other people.”

    I love how for so many people, this is all about me me me. They are so selfish and so blind to what happens to anyone else that they never stop to think for a nanosecond that their actions risks causing huge numbers of deaths. Social distancing? That’s an inconvenience! Wear a mask? That’s uncomfortable! Who can be bothered with all those things – because it won’t help me me me.

    Nothing will stop these cretins from bugging out to someplace with a reef as soon as they can, doesn’t mater how many people they kill. Because…you know, it’s all about me me me.

  119. @Robert Schrader sez. likely with a straight face:”There is no concrete evidence that mass lockdowns and social distancing are the silver bullet that “experts” like Mr. Ferguson claim they are. Even Dr. Gottlieb, whom I’d say has the most outspoken proponent of both, recently admitted as much.”

    What is it that you are saying, (a) that social distancing has had little to do with “flattening” the CV-19 curve as is widely believed, or (b) that social distancing simply does not work?

    If (a) thenthat is it pure sophistry, because it relies on the fact that it is tough to prove a negative. We do not know what would have happened without the mass lockdowns, do we?

    If (b), meaning that social distancing simply does not work, then I suggest you Google-search “social distancing in 1918” and follow the first link to the National Geographic web site, or any other credible site because the story will be the same: social distancing saved millions of lives during the 1918-1920 pandemic, misnamed the “Spanish Flu” and the worst pandemic in modern times.

    In fact, what we do know about the effect social distancing in the “Spanish Flu” is sufficient to qualify as baseless your claim that “There is no concrete evidence that mass lockdowns and social distancing are the silver bullet…”. In truth, the claim was baseless from the start because you had no evidence that social distancing did not accomplish what is claimed. That is, you could not prove a negative, either. 😉


  120. I never stopped traveling myself. Why should I? Unless the government is going to step in and actually stop travel, I see no reason not to. It clearly isn’t a priority or EVERYTHING would be shut down. Hell, we still have recreational pot dispensaries open as “essential” which is laughable. They gotta collect those good ol’ tax dollars.

    There are two arguments against anyone doing anything that even remotely carries risk.

    1. You are selfish and causing people to die. Oh really? You mean if I go out and travel in public WITH OTHER PEOPLE doing the SAME THING, I’m the one responsible? I’d like someone to explain that to me. If others are fearful and want to hide, they can! If they chose to go out then THEY made the personal decision that the benefit outweighed the risk.

    Do these same folks realize every time they get gas, go to the post office, go to the grocery store, go to Target, go to a restaurant to get something to eat (for takeaway of course) that those activities ALL carry risk.

    It’s quite simple. I’m not stopping by your house and coughing in your face or licking your car door handle. If you’re out in a public space anywhere, you are just as culpable. It’s not everyone else’s job to protect YOU. It’s YOUR job to protect you and take necessary measures to mitigate the risk. Somehow all this propaganda has morphed into absolutely no personal accountability for one’s own safety.

    2. It isn’t safe. Well, that’s a matter of opinion and personal risk tolerance. Could I have an undiagnosed condition that puts me in the high risk bucket? I could. I also take similar risks when riding a roller coaster or participating in ANY physical activity or even just taking a prescription med. I’ll take my chances. Everyone is free to make their own choice based on their own circumstances.

    Lastly, as anyone that has been traveling can tell, I cannot think of a safer public space to be in. Airports and flights are so empty that I actually feel safer there then at the grocery store.

  121. @ Colin @ Robert Schrader — I don’t think we actually disagree that much here. Lockdowns and social distancing are a way to buy time in absence of a better option or strategy, and certainly shouldn’t be thought of as a cure, or something that can be sustained long-term.

    The question we could be demanding an answer to, which would in my opinion be a much more productive national conversation is “so what is being done with this time that has been so dearly bought?” A vaccine (or more reasonably, a prophylactic) is a long way off. So are effective anti-virals. But we can test extensively and aggressively. If folks (including local governments) had confidence that cases were being identified, hot spots could be managed, and this thing wasn’t spreading out of control, that enables an entire host of options that would significantly improve the situation, the economic outlook, and everything else. I’m not afraid, I am disappointed.

    So yes, I do think it’s fair, reasonable, and necessary for Americans to use the published/official/traceable/whatever CFR for decision and policy making purposes. And insisting resources be directed towards improving it.

  122. @Patti take a leaf out of your own book, whilst the earliest cases in Australia came from China and most came from the unforgivable handling of the ruby princess, plenty of cases came from the US and Europe (including that arsehole doctor who came back from a skiing holiday in Colorado with symptoms, didn’t self isolate and worked for a week seeing patients before he was found out)

    At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter how this started but plenty of countries have done and/or are continuing to do a terrible job of containing this. Those that have ongoing outbreaks will remain on most countries level 3 or 4 travel advice lists, which means no insurance coverage, quarantine in return and a likelihood of picking up a deeply unpleasant, painful and potentially life threatening disease and, of course, spreading it around.

    I think what a lot of people continue to forget is that it not just about them. This diseases can be spread by asymptomatic people and a lot of traveling around in areas with community transmission puts other people at risk.

  123. @Tiffany — Social distancing does not just “buy time”, because “prevention”, while not a cure, is powerful “medicine” in and of itself. We do not yet have a cure or a vaccine, but countries that got hit first, like South Korea and China have returned, to “baseline” mostly on social distancing…

  124. Hey @Dick Bupkiss – dare you to go up to a struggling community with jobless individuals and tell them to their face that this social distancing is an “inconvenience”. Apparently you have not experienced job loss yourself, how to put food on your table tomorrow, to pay your rent at the end of the month. That’s disgusting and disrespectful.

  125. @ DCS — And with extensive testing, and aggressive contact tracing. It’s not just a “stay home and hope” situation.

  126. @Tiffany – I agree we’re mostly on the same page.

    First and foremost, as much as this ordeal seems political, I think we’ll see much less of that going forward (outside of CNN and Fox, at least). All states closed shop for a while (and seemingly one-upped each other while doing it) and now we’re seeing everyone (in some shape or form) open back up, and we’ll probably see some form of one-upping in that regard as well. I think it’s most important people aren’t dumb, during this process. If we can all be smart and responsible, I think returning to a new-normal is well within reach. When the IHME increased our (the US) death estimate, they also reduced Sweden’s significantly. Sweden, who can’t really have any second wave because they never really changed anything (beyond telling their citizens to be smart), has fared quite well compared to other European countries, and probably will fare just as well as the US when it comes to deaths per capita.

    And to the small part I disagree with (still 🙂 )…The flaw in your logic is the CFR as you claim won’t be improved. Once someone has the virus, isn’t tested, and recovers, they’ll never be included in this statistic that you’re currently using to make policy and decisions. Unfortunately, the science indicates that the vast majority of the infected fall into this category, and will never be included in probable death / confirmed case equation. Just like we don’t use the raw numbers in calculating an absolute R0, we leave it to the experts to derive and estimate R0, which is arguably the most important metric we should be using to make policy and decisions. These are important numbers, and getting an accurate representation of them in the form of an estimate is the best we can do.

    On a less serious note, I’m super jealous you can use italics when drafting comments.

  127. @Tiffany — No argument there. A multi-pronged attack trumps any individual measure…

  128. Hey Mister Obvious – What’s disgusting and shameful is idiots who think they are entitled to their tropical vacation when the act of traveling risks spreading the pandemic and killing many thousands of people who have little or no access to the intense medical interventions needed to keep them alive. Any selfish creep headed for Cancun right now, that’s you if you think your leisure trips are worth risking all those deaths. That’s what’s obvious. You’ve got balls lecturing anyone you don’t know on loss.

  129. If my own country, the destination countries, and all transit countries have no local transmission and very low new cases per day (something like double digits), then I’m going to consider it safe enough for travel.

    Waiting for a vaccine (that might or might not materialize) is crazy talk, but I think the above is a pretty safe and logical way of determining when travel is relatively safe. Realistically, it’ll also need to be when borders are open and 14 day quarantines no longer necessary for all visitors.

    @Tee ayo You’re a prick that belongs in jail. It’s not all about you. Do you think people should also be allowed to drink and drive too?

  130. @ Colin — Hah, you too can use italics! I just handcode the HTML: < e m > put text here < / e m > . Take out the spaces between the arrows and that should work a treat!

  131. @Robert Schrader – I am genuinely curious, why is the need to avoid wasting your life, as you put it (presumably through isolating oneself during this pandemic) of such paramount importance to you?

    I get that as an individual, you are fully entitled to act as you decide, but surely the collective good of society is due some degree of consideration, whether it be the community/city/state/country that you live in? One could argue that restarting economic activity is one such good, but others would argue that preserving lives (especially that of vulnerable groups) by minimising transmission of the virus is another.

    To what end, nobody really knows at this point, but I don’t necessarily see one outrightly trumping the other, and it’s not fair to label those who are trying their best to be socially/societally responsible as virtue signallers.

  132. Safe for whom? The visitors, or the locals? I live in a small town with limited resources near a popular national park, and we’re all dreading the reopening on the park. It could literally kill us here.

  133. Perhaps anyone who feels they are hard done by not being able to travel due to social distancing, isolation, businesses being closed should spend 24hours in an hospital emergency ward … now that’s real hardship.

  134. I am stunned at the ignorance and/or selfishness evident from many of the posters on this topic, other than the ‘usual suspects’; you know who you are.
    To put things into perspective for Americans, do you realise that daily, every-single-day, there are as many COVID-19 deaths as the 9/11 terrorist attack? Just because the deaths are spread out over the entire country does not make it any less of a disaster! And you’re happy to go forth and spread it all over the world?
    The US will discover that it is effectively being ring-fenced from much of the world as this pandemic continues; your US passport will be like a giant rejection slip!
    Don’t expect to be welcomed with open arms anywhere; you will be viewed as toxic!

  135. Love all of the people who say when there’s a vaccine, or how it’s irresponsible and disrespectful. I’ll go where I want, when I want, as often as I want. I decide for myself. Not the government. If you want to live in fear for the rest of your life, fine with me. But don’t chastise other people for living their life. Wow, what idiots!

  136. I think it will be “okay” in the fall. Summer already seems like a no-no. People right now are not wasting their vacation days but there is going to be a rush to use them in the fall/winter. I tell you, there is no way Americans at least are going to let any vacation days go to waste.

  137. Although i am not normally someone to stay at resorts it sure would be an interesting option if they could test all the guests prior to their entry and thereby offer a safe place to interact with other people. Im sure there a lot of people forced to self isolate and have little or no contact with anyone.

  138. Hi SQ Flyer:

    In fact, I reside in a country that never had a lockdown. Apart from not being able to travel abroad, I have been 100% free this whole time.

    My concerns about the lockdown are born of empathy. I was unemployed for a year during the financial crisis, you see, so I understand that this is not a “lives vs livelihoods” debate. People’s ability to create meaning in their lives, in addition to whatever remuneration they earn for doing so, is paramount to their emotional (and, in the end, physical) health. Being poor, even temporarily, kills.

    It is unconscionable for the state to thrust 30 million people (in the US alone) into poverty that will last for years, in order to “save” the lives of largely old and sick people who might only have had months left on this earth, absent the emergence of the Wuhan coronavirus.

    But you do you! Go on and believe you are “saving lives” by “staying home.” Feel like a hero, even though you sound like a chump.

  139. @ Robert Schrader – wasn’t airspace locked down after 9/11? Not from the US and just curious.

    @ Brian – and no doubt your travel everywhere on your own …

  140. @Jo145 Very temporarily. Not for months on end (with indefinite effect ) and all over the world, as it is now.

  141. Frontier airlines is under heat for offering passengers the opportunity to pay extra to guarantee that they’ll have an empty seat in their row.

    Some of our lawmakers are calling it profiteering, and claiming it unacceptable that passengers who can’t afford this aren’t offered the same safety precautions as those who can pay.

    I think it’s a great idea By frontier to offer this, and see it being no different than paying for an upgrade.

  142. I’m fairly sanguine about “should” questions but in this case I am emphatically adamant that it is a personal decision. I plan to travel for purely non-essential pleasure next weekend. Yes, fly and stay at hotel and go to restaurants. BTW, the discussion of government officials should not be whether it is essential but rather is it safe…I decide for myself what is essential and don’t need a mediocre beaurocrat for that. If you are that nervous then please stay at home under lock and key for the next fourteen years. The rest of us will make informed decisions based on facts not hysteria or emotions. And to those refrains from the likes of @Hanta V, kindly f-off with the moral superiority. I never realized how weak and scared so many people are. Imagine if our American forefathers who blazed the trail West were so weak-kneed.

  143. And @Robert Schrader thanks for your voice of cool reason amongst the sea of emotions and finger waving moral authorities. See you in the skies!

  144. I just don’t get the “personal decision” comments. If you carry the virus, it isn’t personal. It is a problem for all around. Besides, many countries won’t let Americans without residency in anyway. I think those that are traveling now or will regardless of the risks simply can’t stand themselves and need a diversion. Please, knock yourselves out, take out a few of your family, just don’t cry when it happens. Enough of us have seen the suffering of those infected. You read a death statistic. I can tell you it isn’t pretty watching this happen to a loved one.

  145. We live in Cape Coral Fl..but Last summer i was getting chemo and radiation for 5th time for lung cancer…all summer as my husband & we lived in our RV in Tampa I was 69…finished treatment mid August and left for Japan Spt 15th then China then HK fantastic 3 weeks cruise…but came home with what they claimed was pnemonia …I believe it was the covid 19 but no one in US had any test for the 19 but everyone in China were already wearing masks and warning you there was a new virus going around so in my opinion they already knew what was going on…got back ended up in hospital several times in Oct till Jan2020 and still no covid 19 Tests…went on family cruise Jan 2020 and it came back again another week in hospital and they blasted me with tons of different kinds antibiotics it worked and started to get better…my 70th birthday in hospital with still no covid 19 tests available…moral of the story ..we will not be going on a cruise or traveling international this year But we will get the RV out in July and start visiting family and friends…pick places we’ve never seen follow the sun…social distance… wear mask when needed …life too short to say there’s always next year because it may not come..if they find a vaccine we will go get it till then…travel safe and enjoy what life you have left!!! Camp grounds we stay in are mostly old healthy retired people that know how to have fun otherwise we park in friends and family’s driveways and if im sick I have my own house with me to hide in for a few days..till I feel better and go from there. Be safe and smart and KIND!!!

  146. Here in Europe it looks like work related travel will come from June, with a more relaxed definition of work related (i.e. also non-essential industries), but still excluding large groups (i.e. conferences etc.). This might or might not include selected overseas destinations.

    As far as leisure travel is concerned, there might be a very selective opening for the summer vacation (which start later here than in the US). Selective means that there might be restrictions in terms of origin, destination, means of transportation and accomodation. For instance, Croatia plan to open for visitors living in Austria (which has very low infection rates), travelling by car and staying in hotels. But this is yet to be confirmed, so details may as well change. This is less likely to include overseas destinations.

  147. Trump puts a resumption of travel in jeopardy due to his insane determination to lift distancing measures prematurely. Having complete effed up the initial containment measures, he now sets a course that will inevitably lead to second and third waves, further delaying the prospect of Americans being welcome ANYWHERE in the foreseeable future. He and the band of dancing lapdogs, including Pence, Pompeo, Kushner, as well as the cretins from Faux News, are directly responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands, and the crippling of the economy, bankruptcies, forced poverty, etc.
    I hope one of the prospective vaccines works; without one it will be a very long time indeed before there is genuine freedom of movement.

  148. If you are holding an American passport only, there will be not international travels for you in the near future. Many countries like Australia and New Zealand will be off limit till early next year. Just look at the number of cases here in the US, no country will welcome us anytime soon. Our numbers are still growing (except New York). States are re-opening despite their number of cases are still rising. Yes I am looking at you – Arizona, Texas and Iowa. While we can let politics forming our own perspective, the rest of the world is just asking scientists and looking at the numbers. So I just don’t see any international travels allowed anytime soon to and from US.

    I came back to Hong Kong in mid-March and am not foreseeing any travel anytime soon. The world is basically closed off. There have been no local cases in Hong Kong for the past two weeks and there are more people on the street now. However, we don’t know what will happen in two weeks. Like last time, there was a second wave after some of the regulations were loosened. Restaurants will be allowed to sit eight people per table (from four now) beginning Friday, but tables must be separated by 6 feet or a huge plexiglass division. Every patrons must keep their masks on when not eating or drinking. Bars and lounges will be allowed to reopen on Friday too but there will be no dancing and live band performances. Karaoke bars remain closed indefinitely. Masks are required by most retail shops. However, our border remains closed to foreigners. On June 7, some mainland Chinese businessmen and women, as well as students, will be allowed into Hong Kong and they don’t need to do the mandatory 14 days home quarantine. However the border will remain closed to rest of the world, and we will wait and see if cases will jump up again after that first June 7 relaxation. Everywhere in the world is taking a “wait and see” perspective.

    Australia and New Zealand will form a local alliance, and that will soon include Fuji, which has few cases. They will allow citizens from these three countries to travel within themselves. The alliance will expand to include nearby countries with no or low Covid cases. I have a feeling that this kind of local alliances will be the short term solution to allow some kinds of travel in these regions. I can see Southeast Asian countries with low and declining COVID-19 cases will form some kind of travel alliances, so citizens within those countries will be allowed to travel within that alliance. I can see Hong Kong and Taiwan joining those alliances so at least some kinds of travel can take place. The hospitality and travel industry are hit hard, so these countries will want to reopen their tourism industry too. However, they are not reckless like some of the Governors in the US. I can see Europe will do similar alliances. So travels will be highly localized for the rest of the year with limited long haul travel.

    As an Av Geek, my personal gauge will be the level of cabin service. I really don’t want to travel if things are not somewhat back to normal. If a F/A can’t safely serve a passenger a coke, it means that it is still not safe. My only exception will be a flight back to US in October/November because this election is too important. I want to vote in person unless situations are really bad. I also think that it will be my first post-Covid-19 long haul flight then. As of this point, I will count myself lucky if I get to fly a short to medium haul flight to Taipei/Bangkok/Kuala Lumpur/Singapore this summer.

  149. @Tim

    “@Robert Schrader thanks for your voice of cool reason amongst the sea of emotions and finger waving moral authorities”

    That would be the Robert Schrader who described a scientist as an “adulterer”, as if that had any relevance to, well, frankly anything? All I can see is him pursing his lips as if he has just sucked a lemon, his moral disapproval of someone else’s depravity dripping from his keyboard.

    Whatever else he is, a voice of cool reason he ain’t.

  150. @TheNicePaul, you must have missed where Tim declared he was the decider on what is “essential” and not some “mediocre bureaucrat” (i.e. someone who might have more information about the risks and current state of play). He seems like someone who would fully endorse a random ad-hominem as a rationale line of attack on a scientist.

    Clearly accepting government directives unquestioningly is unwise, but there is some sort of weird pathology in certain western countries where individualism transitions into anti-intellectualism and selfishness that’s essentially just an excuse to be an a**hole. If the virus really was non-transmissible, I’d be happy for people to take personal risks with their own life at this stage, but the fact that everyone traveling is a potential vector to others seems to either be misunderstood or just ignored because ” I do what I want” regardless of the potential harm.

  151. I miss travel, and when I feel comfortable travelling again I will.

    However, the main focus for me is to enjoy the trip. If it involves having to wear a mask, being limited as to where I can go or what to do at the destination or indeed risk getting stuck somewhere due to lockdowns resuming I’ll hold off. I’ve made a tentative mental plan to visit friends and family in another city in my home country after summer. Hopefully I’ll be able to see my newborn nephew in the U.K. before Christmas, but right now travelling there does not appeal to me. Once they start getting things under control I’ll reconsider.

    I’m lucky to live in a Scandinavian country with just over 200 deaths so far. Unlike many other countries, only certain businesses had to close down and they have already started reopening again. I’m now feeling comfortable about going out to eat this coming weekend.

    I’d be surprised if they were able to develop a safe & reliable vaccine (never been done for corona viruses before), but based on what I’ve read/heard from health authorities the disease is likely to more or less die out eventually. It might also mutate to become less dangerous and/or contagious, hence I expect current restrictions to slowly disappear over time.

  152. @Adrian

    I know you consider your vote important but I personally would not risk your life and undoubtedly a limited ability to travel internationally from Hong Kong just to vote in person. Trump’s response has of course been deplorable but when you see the bills passed by congress you quickly realize that both parties favor greed over finding a real solution. The FBI investigates state hacking of drug companies’ research rather than requiring these companies to openly share whatever they may find. Shouldn’t all research be conducted as if it was open source? The money aspect can be worked out later rather than throwing trillions at corporations to bail them out now when there is no end in sight. Unless a strong third party arises from these ashes I can see no point. Just my opinion of course but I would hate to see someone risk their life or that of someone near them just to maintain the status quo – there are enough soldiers who’ve already done that.

  153. @ Ray sez: “I just don’t get the “personal decision” comments. If you carry the virus, it isn’t personal. It is a problem for all around.”

    I fully concur. Theirs is an entirely narcissistic attitude behind which stands one-dimensional being called “just me”, who is incapable of grasping the simple fact that their decision, while undoubtedly “personal”, can result in or contribute to someone else’s death.

    When a decision risks other people’s lives because you may carry the virus without knowing it and infect others, just how truly “personal” is it? Don’t answer that, it’s rhetorical.

  154. @PB~ none of those morons on the streets protesting about their ‘freedom’ and their ‘liberties’ have ever owned a passport, and have barely been outside their state, unless it’s a very small one!

  155. Ok when

    1. Origin, connecting city, and destination are low risk and have few cases
    2. Purpose of travel is important


    1. Vaccine is effective, virus doesn’t mutate much, you are vaccinated.

    I miss air travel

  156. I’m hoping NY and surrounding states will have lifted travel restrictions by mid/end of summar and we can take a driving trip to somewhere remote for hiking. I certainly don’t want to fly for a few more months at least.

    I think that probably traveling to the Adirondacks or White Mountains is no less safe than staying in a suburb near NYC – for the travelers. But for the people who live in rural/remote areas, we might bring the disease to them. On the other hand, they also depend on our tourist dollars. So it’s a tough decision.

  157. We will travel when it is allowed but will use precautions. The first trip we plan to take is Yellowstone. It has been planned for 10 months. We are staying in a private lodge – a family group. We will be outdoors in Yellowstone and at state parks in Idaho and Montana. We are flying but could drive if we needed to change plans. We will wear masks in public. We are going to a small island in Belize this fall if that is allowed. That is all we have for this year. I will plan our next trip to Europe when the numbers of cases are way down because those involve more crowded spaces. We believe we had the virus in March (after returning from Spain) but were not allowed to test. I worry more about spreading it than getting it. This will change how we travel or where we travel but we will travel.

  158. I will travel as soon as countries reopen. If Greece will be open for tourists in July as they are planning so far, I will be on a plane July 1st. I want to support economies and I think travel will be as safe as going to the supermarket when taking neccesaey precautions.

    I myself wear mask at all times in public places and adhere to social distancing. I sanitize my hands before entering grocery stores , before using ATMs or paying. And I am totally fine with not going to restaurants or museums when I travel and not socializing with other tourists.

    I also travelled to Thailand in March – April and had absolutely amazing time. I arrived one week before Thailand closed international arrivals, I stayed safe in Air B&B, cooked my own meals and went to empty beaches. I did not have any close contact with other tourists or locals. I had rental car and avoid taxies and other public transportation most of the time . I left only when things started to cut off in Koh Lanta restricting tourist movements, but otherwise had safe and great time.

  159. Only law should dictate when and where you should travel to. Everything else should be left to your own discretion.

  160. From reading these comments, sounds like the planes will have too many entitled asshole passengers fighting about masks etc. And I don’t imagine Americans will be welcomed much overseas…

  161. Even though I’m living outside the US I see the American passport being less valuable than a piece of paper with the word Passport scribled on it. Most countries are not even going to care that I have not been in the US this year – that USA phrase on the cover will be sufficient to ban entry. Maybe some will offer quarantine upon arrival or possibly testing but it is going to be a long time before the US passport will be valuable again. The world has seen how bad the response has been and I suspect some countries may simply use it as an excuse to ban entry and/or implement visa requirements.

  162. I will travel anywhere I am welcomed. We changed our Japan plans to Hawaii back in February but Hawaii does not look appealing right now. Cancun, on the other hand, is welcoming guests so we resorted to plan C. I am excited to be traveling and feel like I am actually helping that economy since they want visitors. I have several other trips planned for this year and will take them as long as I can!

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