Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 may soon turn their immunization documents into a golden ticket for international getaways. Domestic travel has started to rebound in recent weeks, but demand for international travel remains weak. Many countries continue to place restrictions on who can cross their borders amid the coronavirus pandemic, restricting entry to their own citizens or to people performing essential activities. In early April, internet searches for domestic flights were higher than they were at the same time in 2019, according to data from the Hopper travel app. But searches for international flights still lag behind pre-pandemic levels. Currently, only about a third of Hopper searches for flights this summer are for international destinations, with the remaining two-thirds being for travel to the United States. “It’s usually much closer to a 50/50 split in normal years,” said Adit Damodaran, an economist at Hopper. Don’t Miss: CDC Offers Travel Advice To Vaccinated Americans – But Stops Before Saying It’s Okay To Fly But some countries, in an effort to boost travel demand, have ushered in access easier for people who can show evidence. to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Iceland has taken this to the extreme – tourists are only allowed to visit the island country famous for its hot springs and volcanoes if they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or can show documents stating that they previously had the disease and have since recovered. Iceland originally planned to put the new travel rules into effect on March 26, but the country’s government subsequently delayed the policy until April 6. Many other countries, such as Ecuador and Nepal, have taken a different approach to vaccinated travelers. Rather than requiring that they be vaccinated, vaccinated people can instead bypass requirements that they must be tested for COVID-19 before their travel. Thus, border patrols will instead ask for proof of vaccination rather than the results of a COVID-19 test upon entering the country. Which regions are ready to reopen their borders? So far, the list of countries that have relaxed the rules for vaccinated vacationers is short, but travel experts expect it to grow in the near future. “Evidence indicates more countries are relaxing entry requirements – eliminating quarantine / testing rules – for fully vaccinated travelers,” said Jordan Staab, president of SmarterTravel Media, owner of the flight booking website Airfarewatchdog.com. Several companies and organizations are developing “vaccine passports” that could make things easier for international travelers. The International Air Transport Association, an airline trade group, is launching a digital Travel Pass that allows users to upload proof of vaccination or COVID test results to a mobile app. So far, 23 airlines have agreed to test the IATA Travel Pass, including Virgin Atlantic and Singapore Airlines. Among the regions that seem most inclined to relax the rules for those vaccinated is the Caribbean, Staab said. “The Caribbean appears to be the region most open to tourists right now, and this is likely to continue, whether it’s opening up to all tourists or just fully vaccinated tourists,” he noted. Several cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, have announced plans to resume cruises out of Caribbean ports with only fully vaccinated people allowed on board ships. In Europe, politicians from countries like Portugal and Greece, whose economies depend heavily on tourism, have suggested that they plan to allow people vaccinated to travel there. In these cases, however, Americans could still be barred from entry, depending on how the rules are set and whether specific vaccines are required for entry. The vaccine produced by Moderna MRNA, -1.54%, for example, has only received full or emergency authorization in 41 countries, while the vaccines from Pfizer PFE, -0.39% and AstraZeneca AZN, – 1.63% are approved to some extent by 100 countries. Unvaccinated travelers are not without options, however. Many countries have resumed allowing tourists to visit, even though visitors are not yet vaccinated. In these cases, travelers are usually required to take a negative COVID test before their trip, and are sometimes subject to additional testing and a period of self-isolation upon arrival. And some of those countries, like Mexico, may not be inclined to require proof of vaccination for tourists, as these policies could backfire and deter some travelers, especially from the United States. forcing them to have a vaccine to enter the country right now, ”said Bruce Rosenberg, COO of HotelPlanner, a group booking website. “On the contrary, they will say: ‘We are more welcoming and more open’.” United States Embassies, US News and World Report, The Points Guy Some areas of the world are more likely to remain closed to leisure travelers. Most of Western Europe, for example, has maintained very strict policies regarding who can enter their borders amid a wider lockdown context due to the pandemic. And many of the small island countries in the Pacific Ocean have kept borders fully closed amid the pandemic, given the relative lack of medical facilities and how prone they would be to nationwide outbreaks if any. sick people entered their country. Increase as more places resume operations Flight search models suggest that as countries add new policies that encourage vaccinated people to visit, they see a significant increase in interest. After Iceland reopened its borders to vaccinated visitors, there was a 93% increase in searches for flights, according to data from Hopper. And there has been a 77% increase in searches for flights to Portugal after authorities announced plans to welcome tourists returning from the UK. Airlines have significantly reduced the number of flights they operate amid the pandemic to cut costs, and they may be slow to fully resume operations in the event that another increase in COVID-19 cases around the world causes a repeated slowdown in travel. “Reduced capacity, increased demand and a need to recover costs will likely drive up airline ticket prices later this year into the next year,” Staab said. “Airlines will not immediately make 100% of their routes prepandemic, even if demand increases, which means that demand could outweigh supply, and airlines can increase their fares and continue to occupy seats. ” Airlines could even potentially increase prices “to compensate for the need to put in place an infrastructure to verify that passengers are vaccinated,” Staab added. In addition, the rising cost of jet fuel will increase spending by travelers. Airfarewatchdog is currently recommending people book their international travel by the end of May to get lower prices – as well as relaxed limited-time policies for free flight changes for economy fares. At the same time, however, prices could be reduced for other travel expenses, including hotels and activities. “Mexico and the Caribbean are still valuable because they are trying to attract customers to leave the United States,” Rosenberg said, adding that the same philosophy could apply in major European cities that are centers tourism. .
Ryanair RYA, + 0.95%, said on Wednesday it expects losses for the year to be slightly less than initially thought, but predicted it would carry less passengers over the next year due to Easter travel restrictions and the European Union’s slow rollout of COVID. 19 vaccination program. The Irish budget carrier plans to report a net loss before exceptional items of between € 800 million and € 850 million ($ 949.9 million to $ 1.01 billion) for the year ending March 2021 , slightly better than its previous forecast in February, between 850 million euros and 950 million euros over the period. It now forecasts the number of passengers for the year ending March 2022 down a previously guided range of between 80 million and 120 million passengers. “” Easter travel restrictions / lockouts and a delayed resumption of traffic in peak S.21 season, due to the slow rollout in the EU of COVID-19 vaccines, means FY22 traffic is likely to be towards the lower end of our previously guided passenger range from 80m to 120m. “” – Ryanair “Although it is not possible at the moment to provide significant profit forecasts for fiscal year 2022, we do not share the recent optimism of some analysts as we believe that the result for the fiscal year 2022 is currently close to breaking even, ”Ryanair said in a statement on Wednesday. Ryanair shares, which have risen 3.16% year-to-date, rose 1.10% at the start of trading in London on Wednesday. The news also boosted the shares of rival carrier easyJet EZJ, + 1.33%, which saw its shares increase by 1.06%, while the owner of British Airways International Airlines Group IAG, + 1.63%, saw its share increase by 1.42%. Airlines such as Ryanair RYAAY, -0.77% have introduced new summer routes in a bid to attract vacationers to travel when coronavirus restrictions ease. In March, Ryanair announced 26 new destinations in Greece, Portugal and Spain and plans to operate a total of 2,000 weekly flights on 400 summer routes. Read: Amid vaccine hurdles, EU battles to save summer vacation with COVID pass Under Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s four-step roadmap to get UK out of its third foreclosure, holidays abroad are prohibited until May 17 at the earliest. However, Johnson on Monday warned people not to book a summer vacation yet, saying it was too early for the government to commit to allowing overseas vacations due to the risk of importing variants. most contagious of the coronavirus, which is causing a wave of infections sweeping through Europe. Read: US and Alaska actions are upgraded on ‘clear path to reopening’ for the air travel industry When the ban on non-essential overseas travel is lifted, it will be replaced by a risk-based three-tier traffic light system to classify countries for international travel to and from England. “This new category will accommodate countries where we deem the risk to be lower, for example based on vaccinations, infection rates, prevalence of variants of concern and their ability to genome sequencing (or access to genomic sequencing), ”the government said in a statement. The Government’s Global Travel Task Force will release its report, giving more details on the system, later this week. .
SYDNEY – To reach indigenous clans in northern Australia, vaccinators must pass through monsoon rains which can make airplanes and waterways infested with crocodiles. Once they reach the community, they face another formidable challenge in convincing the group to take fire.
First Nations like the people of East Arnhem Land – more than 600 miles by road from the nearby city of Darwin and bastions of traditional Aboriginal culture – are next in line Australian vaccination program which started last month and focuses on prioritizing health and other workers on the front lines to keep Covid-19 out of the country.
In many ways, vaccination programs are a litmus test for countries with large indigenous groups who feel marginalized and distrust government policies. Nearly 150,000 indigenous Australians lived in remote areas in 2016, according to the latest available government data. In East Arnhem Land, the life expectancy is around 50 years and half of Aboriginal children experience severe hearing, lung or other health problems by age 4.
“What we hear now is probably 50-75% going to say no,” said Eddie Mulholland, chief executive of Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corp., an indigenous community controlled primary health service for about 8,000 people across East Arnhem Land.
Concern rose among indigenous Australians after it was reported rare cases of blood clots in people in Europe who have received the Covid-19 injection developed by AstraZeneca PLC and the University of Oxford, although regulators have found no link between blood clots and vaccines and recommend continued use.
As vaccines slow the spread of the coronavirus across the planet, a post-Covid existence is slowly focusing on everything from daily routines to large public events. real estate, a pre-Covid understanding of health improvement journeys included massages, spa treatments and a smoothie after yoga classes. As 2021 slowly emerges from the shadow of the virus, upscale resorts and private estates seek to entice and reassure shoppers that a chosen destination can improve their health at a time when well-being. staff should be a top priority. The properties shift their understanding of healthy living away from comfort and indulgence, to applications of serious medical advice and proven self-care principles. Beth McGroarty, director of research and public relations at the Global Wellness Institute in Denver, says this trend started before Covid and gained massive momentum during the health crisis. “The pandemic has revealed how unhealthy we are, and – in the wake of Covid-19 – all travel will now truly be wellness trips,” says McGroarty. “You’re going to see the definition of wellness become more serious and more evidence-based. There will be a much stronger medical connection, such as accredited healthcare professionals on the property to design personal health regimens, perform sleep tests, or create individual diets. McGroarty predicts that hosting more activities and treatments for outdoor guests and residents will become an industry obsession after more than a year of social distancing and avoiding groups of strangers at home. inside. “We will see the wellness understanding focus more on immunity, with an emphasis on recovery and resilience, as they brace for the possibility of an ongoing health threat,” adds McGroarty. “These healthy changes will go home with travelers or residents to go.” This new, more serious and scientific approach to healthy living and travel is in effect at the new Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos in Costa Palmas on the Eastern Cape of the Baja Peninsula. While guests and seasonal residents certainly come for the two miles of open beach and the Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed golf course, they can now take advantage of the Four Seasons’ partnership with Patronus Medical. According to spokesperson Tatia Pacey, the Costa Palmas community, Beach & Yacht Club, and golf course were developed with Patronus, a Washington, DC-based company specializing in personalized medical services. “The Costa Palmas program focuses on preventing contamination from the outside through comprehensive symptom and temperature control, and on reducing the likelihood of the community spreading,” Pacey explains. “Patronus services also include an on-site doctor and access to a doctor by telemedicine.” Old Lighthouse Club Anne Dimon, president and CEO of the Denver-based Wellness Tourism Association, believes that upscale resorts and private communities will continue to offer traditional spa services, but the term ‘pampering’ will continue to evolve towards “prevention”. Tourism is more proactive and medical tourism is more responsive, “says Dimon.” We are seeing a greater overlap that occurs when and where medical and hospitality institutions offer scientifically substantiated programs and tests. This can help identify health problems or previous predispositions. when symptoms appear. We are seeing more and more of this integrated into the programs and packages of wellness centers and retreats. In these cases, Dimon says doctors can advise the client or guest how to avoid or reverse a condition before it gets worse. She believes the wellness world will evolve towards more choices, like a luxury option or a health improvement program. tells us that the option of improving health will outweigh the need and desire for luxury, although people may still have both to choose from, “she says.” Travelers will not only seek to maintain their current health condition, but will use the travel time to learn how to balance their immune system and prevent underlying health problems. Developers who are building new properties or renovating pre-existing sites have the evolution of well-being in mind when designing their facilities. For example, construction of the elite Old Lighthouse Club Los Cabos community is underway above Quivira Golf Club and a short walk from Pueblo Bonito Resorts. The Old Lighthouse Club recently announced that it has partnered with wellness company Delos to introduce the DARWIN Home Wellness Intelligence Network for all homes built by developers on their properties. According to this report, DARWIN operates over a residence’s wifi network and focuses on the healthy smart home functions of “air filtration, water purification, dynamic circadian lighting and comfort-oriented technologies”. North of the border, the $ 2 billion Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley in Arizona will open by the end of 2021. “The onset of Covid-19 has driven five-star development to pivot and better respond to the safety, health and well-being of future customers and residents, ”said spokesperson Jan Bracamonte. In a first for the Ritz-Carlton brand, the resort and the 81 residential villas will now have ionized air everywhere with Five Star purchasing more than 1,000 systems that eliminate over 95% of airborne viruses and within 60 minutes. All entrance spaces will be converted to contactless environments and the outdoor dining areas will increase in size. Over 1,000 miles east, construction on the new wellness-themed community of Richland Pointe is underway at Lake Reynolds Oconee, Georgia. Open at the start of summer, the village will combine an outdoor community with high-tech well-being. COO Tim Hong says the 500-acre site has been designed around an outdoor theme allowing residents to walk between amenities when you’re not on bike lanes or on dedicated trails. “We use both indoor and outdoor facilities, but we are offering more services, events and outdoor fitness classes than ever before,” says Hong. “To showcase the outdoor elements, we chose to include several parks in place of a golf course.” Scott Cowdrey, Director of Recreation and Wellness, explains that Technogym’s Biocircuit System matches Richland Pointe’s need for cutting-edge health science with the ability to work in privacy. “Biocircuit uses the latest hardware and the most advanced software for personalized use by members,” says Cowdrey. “This is the first installation of its kind in a private club.” “Covid-19 has influenced all of our activities here,” Cowdrey adds. “This has led us to deliver a smarter health experience for members who can choose when and how they want to use their personalized fitness program.”
It’s hard to think of a recent failure that could match the EU’s Covid vaccine launch. Protectionism, mercantilism, bureaucratic incompetence, lack of political accountability, crippling security-ism – it’s all here. Keystone Kops in Brussels and European capitals would have been hilarious if the consequences weren’t so serious.
But hospitalizations and deaths increased again in Italy, Germany and France while successful vaccinations reduced illness and death in the US, UK and Israel. To date, the US has administered 34 doses per 100 population, the UK has entered 40 doses, and Israel has 111. Most vaccines require two doses. Compare that to about 12 in France, Germany and Italy.
As the pandemic moves into the reopening phase, Europe’s mistake will cost the entire world economically as the Continent struggles to emerge from lockdown.
Take the latest mistakes first. Various European regulators and politicians have spent this week claiming Oxford /
the vaccine – the only one currently widely available in the EU – may not be safe, just to be rethought and now begging people to start taking it.
This time the concern is that the puncture has caused blood clots or problems with blood platelets in some patients. Some people who receive the vaccine develop blood clots, but the European Medicines Agency (EMA) found the vaccine was not associated with an increased risk overall.
Among the 11 million or more vaccinated in the UK, serious freezing is less common than would be expected in the general population. People can develop clots for a variety of reasons including health conditions and other medications. Covid-19 can also cause clots, so any risk-benefit calculation supports vaccination.
This is part of the peculiar European safety-ism that has followed the vaccine program from the start. The introduction of the AstraZeneca jab was withheld even after the EMA approved it because bureaucrats in Germany claimed there was no evidence that the injection was successful in patients over 65 years of age.
Fewer elderly patients were included in the sample during the vaccine trial phase, but that is the extent of this claim. This was quickly debunked – real-world evidence available even then from Britain showed high efficacy in an older group – but not before French President Emmanuel Macron took up the theme.
Such sloppy talk prevented vulnerable European parents from receiving the vaccine last month. It also changes the priority list. Younger teachers and university professors in Italy received pre-sick injections and the elderly under a scheme developed when officials claimed it would not work for older people.
One problem is that no one appears to be entirely responsible for monitoring safety and efficacy. Nominally, that is the job of EMA, and the agency is handling it with the typical eurocratic self-confidence. The EMA approval process is more bureaucratic, requiring input from all EU member states. Imagine if the FDA consulted all 50 states.
But national governments are also allowed to make their own safety decisions on “emergency” grounds. Great Britain used this option to agree
and AstraZeneca fired quickly despite being a member of the EU late last year.
Other governments are using this policy to slow down vaccine rollouts. EU capitals refuse to follow Britain in authorizing emergency use, apparently out of fear of hurting European solidarity. But some governments are happy to impose unilateral blocks on vaccines, such as the AstraZeneca blood clot riot. European regulators live by the adage “it’s better to be safe than sorry,” but in this they apologize with no added security.
At least now, millions of doses are available for Europeans who want it. This is not always the case, after a procurement negligence has delayed deliveries and nearly sparked several trade wars. Brussels officials last year seized the opportunity to push for the general procurement of vaccines to increase the EU’s credibility with European voters. Buying on behalf of 500 million Europeans should also give the bloc more influence with pharmaceutical companies.
There’s been chaos. The EU bureaucracy has little experience with procurement on this scale, and is also struggling to reach a block-wide agreement for ventilators and protective equipment. Brussels officials signed vaccine contracts months after the US and UK did so last year – and only after several European governments threatened to arrange their own procurement.
Washington and London understand that it is essential for mass procurement to waste large sums of R&D money on many companies in the hope that some will succeed. Brussels focuses on haggling cost-per-dose. Europeans pay a few dollars less per dose but end up near the back of the delivery line.
The EU response – a combination of threatened export restrictions, boisterous commercial clashes with pharmaceutical companies, and delusional efficacy issues – has undermined Europe’s credibility on trade matters. It also risks fueling vaccine nationalism and trade restrictions elsewhere.
Could everything be different? The Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed demonstrates how a major government can use its fiscal resources to fund R&D in a crisis. Britain and Israel have shown that small countries can take advantage of regulatory agility to move forward. But somehow the European Union – a continent-wide political bloc made up of smaller nation-states – managed to get the worst of both worlds. It suffers from sluggish bureaucracy from big governments and quarrelsome inefficiency.
Europeans can debate in their spare time who is to blame for this and how to prevent it from happening again. The whole world can only hope they get their vaccination action soon.
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Appears in the print edition of March 20, 2021.