By Leah Freeman-Haskin
With so much uncertainty around the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are starting to feel a little anxious and a bit antsy. Social distancing, closed borders, and health officials urging us all to stay home may have you wondering when things will be back to normal, and more importantly for travel junkies, when you can start booking travel again.
Unfortunately, there is no clear answer at the moment. Some officials have stated that summer travel starting in June or July may be an option, while other public health researchers are suggesting travel restrictions will last much longer than a few months.
“Things are going to be very difficult for 12 months or more,” warns Penn State epidemiologist Maciej Boni to CNN Travel.
With such a variance in predictions, it’s clear that no one really knows when life will be back to normal.
“The predictive mathematical models are being built, and the whole point of that is to try to give lawmakers, authorities and public health officials some grasp of what’s going on. But as new cases come in, that new data is being fed into the models; it’s updated every day,” says assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Minnesota, Kumi Smith to CNN Travel.
This model changes daily based on how the population deals with restrictions. The more people adhere to social distancing and self-isolation, the sooner we should be able to travel comfortably again.
In the meantime, CNN Travel recommends taking into consideration four factors when you are ready to book your next trip: where are you going, who you are, what if you get stuck, and will you need to self-quarantine on your return?
Where are you going?
Be sure to check government websites to find out if your destination country has current restrictions on travel including border closures and social distancing requirements.
Who are you?
Know where you stand within current risk groups. People with underlying health conditions and the older population are at a higher risk of having complications due to the coronavirus.
What if you get stuck?
Are you prepared to have to stay at your destination for longer than you planned? Be sure to check on your travel insurance policies and work obligations to make sure you are prepared for any changes in your travel schedule.
Will you need to self-quarantine on your return?
Be prepared to self-quarantine for 14 days on your return. That includes being able to work from home and having everything in place should you need to make this adjustment at the last minute.