What a Coronavirus Vaccine Means for Travel
At long last the pandemic uncertainty has shifted from, “When will a vaccine be developed?” to “When will I get vaccinated?”
A vaccination is more than just a shot; it’s a pathway back to a more normal life – and for many people, the Coronavirus vaccine will mean a return to travel. Already some agencies associated with travel have coined the term “vaccication” to describe a vacation taken after a vaccination (or two) has been received.
If you’re one of those people who are holding off on travel only as long as it takes to get your shots, here are some things to keep in mind.
Some travel providers will be requiring proof of vaccination to travel
Currently Qantas requires proof of vaccination for travelers to board their planes. Also, as The New York Times reports, “many airlines are currently testing technology to streamline the health documentation process, including mobile health apps like CommonPass, ICC AOKpass and VeriFLY to ensure travelers can present their health data in a secure, verifiable way.”
However, there has been significant pushback on this from the World Travel and Tourism Council.
“We should never require the vaccination to get a job or to travel,” WTTC CEO Gloria Guevara told a Reuters Next conference. “I totally disagree with the approach from Qantas,” she added. “If you require the vaccination before travel, that takes us to discrimination.”
However, as the pace of vaccinations pick up and demand increases for travel, this may become more of a trend. If you’re vaccinated, all this may mean is adding an app to your phone that shows your status, or carrying a card similar to the “yellow card” of the early 20th century showing inoculation against smallpox.
Not every country is accepting American travelers, vaccination or not
Because the United States has been an epicenter of infection, some foreign countries that have worked hard to keep the virus outside its borders have taken the drastic step of banning American travelers from entering.
Australia and New Zealand are two prime examples, but other examples can be found worldwide.
These bans will gradually be lifted as more Americans and more people around the world are vaccinated; in the meantime, it’s vital to consult an authoritative, frequently updated site like www.travel.state.gov to understand what the status is of your desired destination.
Having a vaccination does not mean you can flout existing regulations designed to slow transmission
You may feel bulletproof after being vaccinated. However, this is not the time to believe that the rules don’t apply to you.
One of the key rules of being a good traveler is to obey the local norms – and that applies to virus-related norms, too. It’s your responsibility to not be that traveler, whether that means being loud in a place designed for quiet reflection or obeying a mask mandate or a social-distancing requirement.
Travel insurance still makes a lot of sense
Travel insurance is at its best in times of uncertainty – and that certainly describes the current travel scene.
A travel protection plan from Generali can help if Coronavirus impacts your trip. Meaning, if you, a family member or a traveling companion are diagnosed with COVID-19 before or during your trip, and meet the requirements for coverage due to sickness, you can be covered for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Travel Delay, Medical & Dental, and Emergency Assistance & Transportation, in addition to 24/7 Travel Assistance services.
Also read: Buying Travel Insurance During a Pandemic
Generali has a wide range of plans that can provide coverage to practically any traveler and any trip – and if the past year’s events have taught us anything, it’s that it pays to help protect yourself.
Get a quote today, and start planning that “vaccication”!