With COVID vaccine availability at an all time high, Americans are packing their suitcases and preparing to travel the country with minimal risk. Domestically, many states have dissolved their travel restrictions with New Jersey joining the club on May 17. On June 1st, 2021, TSA Checkpoints tracked a total of 1,682,752 travelers, dwarfing 2020’s total throughput of 267,742 . Mask protocol remains the same on airplanes, but the CDC has announced that fully vaccinated travelers can skip the two week quarantine period before and after their trip.
International travel is also seeing increased activity. On May 19, the European Union announced that fully vaccinated travelers from countries with low infection rates will be able to visit these countries again. But this does not mean that all travel is without risk. The rise in variant cases has stalled the opening of some countries to outside travelers, and some have even closed again.
The travel and tourism industry was ravaged during the pandemic, with a 42% drop in overall spending. The absence of travel left many devastated, which poses the question, “why do we travel?” Traveling for leisure was started by wealthy Romans who wished to travel to their summer villas. They did this by using their own invention, roads.
Travel holds many personal and societal benefits, if it didn’t, colleges and universities would not invest in study-abroad programs, and primary education institutions would not plan field trips. It broadens intellectual curiosity and knowledge, and builds an understanding of different cultures which combats prejudice. Personal physical wellness is also boosted by travel, in a joint study from the Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, in partnership with the U.S. Travel Association, it was discovered that men and women who travel twice a year were at a significantly lower risk of heart-related illness than those who took a vacation every six years. What’s more, A Cornell University study found that the anticipation of a vacation is greater than that of acquiring a physical possession, boosting happiness and satisfaction rates5.
The thought of traveling in a post-pandemic world can raise a lot of questions. The most prominent one being “how do I?” The CDC website is chock-full of measures one should take when travelling for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Included is also the status of other countries, and whether they are open to travellers and tourists.
The pandemic and its shutdown made 2020 a year of despair and uncertainty. It is only natural that after a year of isolation, there is an itch to explore the world. The team at JAB Law has certainly caught the travel bug. The firm’s namesake Josh spent the month of May in Egypt. Egypt holds a special place in his heart, as it is where he was born and spent much of his early childhood. Returning after so many years and spending time with loved ones was described as “incredible”.
“Seeing the people I love in the country I consider my first home, sharing stories and memories in the place they were made at last – was a gift. I cannot wait to go back!” – Josh
Marples, Megan, and Forrest Brown. 2021. “Covid-19 travel restrictions state by state.” CNN.com. Find out which countries are welcoming US tourists back
U.S. Government. 2021. “TSA checkpoint travel numbers (current year(s) versus prior year/same weekday).” TSA.gov. https://www.tsa.gov/coronavirus/passenger-throughput. Centers for Disease Control. 2021. “Domestic Travel During COVID-19.” CDC.gov. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html. Brown, Forrest, and Brooke Fletcher. 2021. “Find out which countries are welcoming US tourists back.” CNN.com. https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/us-international-travel-covid-19/index.html. Alton, Larry. 2017. “5 Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Traveling Abroad.” NBC News. https://www.nbcnews.com/better/wellness/5-scientifically-proven-health-benefits-traveling-abroad-n759631.