More and more we commonly hear people talking about the “Travel Bubble” also known as travel bridges or corona corridors. What is it exactly? Does it constitute the ideal solution for the COVID 19 Pandemic?
Travel Bubble is an agreement stipulated by a group of countries that agreed to open their borders to each other, but keep the borders closed for all other countries. This allows people to move freely inside the bubble, but forbids outsiders to enter. The idea is to allow people extra freedom without causing additional harm.
Social bubbles can be an effective strategy to mitigate the isolation of the Coronavirus, although the results have yet to be confirmed.
With the pandemic, investments in the tourism sector were hit hard. According to Financial Times, foreign investment in the tourism sector fell from $48.5bn in 2019 to $12.6bn in 2020. As the world moves towards economic recovery, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has prioritized Investments as one of our key areas.
Furthermore, travel bubbles require a certain amount of faith and trust in partner countries and their ability to contain the virus, including large-scale testing, contact tracing and effective quarantine. Therefore, according to Block, the easiest time to form a bubble “is when two countries do not have additional cases,” and thus, the risk is very low in allowing travelers from the other country. Australia and New Zealand, for example, are among the countries that have reached such an agreement.
Several countries are set to follow Australia and New Zealand’s example. From their end, Singapore and Hong Kong announced earlier this week that the air travel bubble between them would begin as of November 22, with one initial flight per day to each city with 200 passengers in each direction. Countries like Thailand, South Korea and Japan could collaborate with Singapore to create air travel bubbles in the future. Moreover, a plan to open air travel between Dubai and London is ready for implementation once approved by the respective governments.
Briefly put, even though international travel is key and highly missed, one can assume that a travel bubble for the time being is the ideal solution.