Thursday, May 5, 2022

Controversial policy impacts travel decisions

Even as travelers plan to spend more time and money on trips to make up for lost travel opportunities during the past two years, there is controversy over the pandemic-related requirement for negative COVID tests before returning to the U.S. from abroad.

Should testing be eliminated?

The world's most experienced travelers want this requirement eliminated, according to the Global Rescue Spring 2022 Traveler Safety and Sentiment Survey.  

A third of travelers (32%) say the U.S. government should immediately eliminate for everyone the requirement for a negative COVID test for fully vaccinated inbound international travelers to the U.S. while nearly an equal amount (34%) say the requirement should be removed for U.S. citizens but not non-citizens. 

“Unfortunately, many of today’s governmental rules are not medically indicated.  We’re hopeful that changes soon,” said Dan Richards, CEO of Global Rescue, the world’s leading provider of medical, security, evacuation and travel risk management services and a member of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board at the U.S. Department of Commerce. 

Testing in airports is expensive and
time consuming and often too late.

The overwhelming majority of travelers (84%) are less or much less concerned about travel today compared to the beginning of the pandemic. But 15% of survey-takers report producing a negative COVID-19 test to meet U.S. re-entry requirements is their main travel concern behind being stranded away from home after testing positive for COVID-19.  Not only is there uncertainty about test results to consider, but just finding a place to accomplish the testing in ever-changing and shorter time limits a worry that many travelers have when planning a trip.

Some people choose to wear masks,
even after the requirement was lifted.

According to the survey, many travelers believe pandemic protocols, including masking and physical distancing, are no longer needed. Almost half of the respondents (42%) say there are no pandemic-related behaviors they plan to continue unless required. A third (33%) of respondents disagree and say they plan to continue masking despite easing of mask requirements. Many travelers also prefer to stay out of crowds and to keep their distance from unknown persons when possible.

Avoiding activities with large crowds
is still recommended.

“Travelers want to travel now more than ever. One–out–of four travelers (27%) will spend more time or more money – or both – on trips to make up for curtailed travel due to the pandemic. They’re going to get their travel revenge once governments allow them to move with fewer or no restrictions,” Richards said.  

And the travel industry couldn’t be happier about those sentiments. It’s the path for recovery in travel-related businesses. 

Information courtesy of Bill McIntyre at

Photos from free sources.

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