There’s never been a hit so hard to the travel industry as when the coronavirus pandemic shut-down the world.
The unprecedented lockdown had every airline CEO in the world wondering if they could survive the months of empty terminals.
Now that flying is once again a viable option, a new COVID-19 strain threatens the economic security of a multi-billion-dollar industry and the freedom of Americans to explore the country.
The delta variant is now the prominent COVID-19 strain being discussed in the media and striking fear back into the hearts of vulnerable citizens.
Go figure that just as travelers had begun to get through the massive amounts of red tape needed to travel, the left would find a way to reclaim control over us.
Here are the 4 ways in which the Delta variant is changing the travel industry… again.
1. Your destination could be closing their borders again
So you finally booked your dream honeymoon to Punta Mita, Mexico after waiting a year – maybe even two years – to celebrate the most joyous day of your life.
But as you reach the border, you see it blocked off with those big orange cones and multiple law enforcement officers waiting to send you back to where you came.
Thankfully, you can still fly into Mexico right now with proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test, but flying into some countries is no longer an option due to the fear of the delta variant causing widespread disease.
Switzerland, Finland, and Qatar just started allowing more tourists to enter their borders, according to USA Today, but Portugal requires vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test before you can check into your hotel or sit down for your long-awaited dinner reservations at Rei das Praias.
Then there are the more extreme countries like Israel who have closed their borders completely.
2. Masks and vaccinations will be a requirement
It seemed that businesses and citizens had lightened up a lot on wearing masks.
Unfortunately, any light at the end of the tunnel for traveling without a mask or vaccination has now diminished.
Richard Webby, who helps lead St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s Infectious Diseases Department, told USA Today, “If you’re not vaccinated, now is not a good time to travel.”
He didn’t specify whether it’s because it’s extremely inconvenient and annoying to travel without one or because he believes it’s unsafe.
We can only speculate…
3. Airlines may limit flights
Delta Airlines does not want to limit flights after they’ve just begun to pick back up again – along with international travel showing “clear signs” of recovery in the fall, states CEO Ed Bastian.
However, Savanthi Syth, an analyst with Raymond James, said that the dreaded delta variant could have negative effects on “long-haul international flights,” according to USA Today.
Unfortunately, most of the decisions regarding the closure of airlines or cancelling flights is based on CDC guidelines and public opinion, not on what the airline wants to do.
So we know how this is going to go.
4. Paranoia will once again take over people’s sanity
The most significant effect the delta variant will have on the travel industry is that those who have bought into the fear propagated by the media will act outside of logic and reason to make themselves feel protected.
What does that mean?
Airline attendants will have full-blown fights with toddlers to keep their masks on, and the person sitting next to you will stare at you like you have the plague because you sneezed from all the disinfectants they just bathed themselves in before sitting down.
On top of that, you have to be prepared wherever you go to be harassed by complete strangers if you don’t have a flimsy piece of cloth over your mouth in their compromised presence.
There are changes to come indeed, but nothing that a seasoned traveler can’t withstand or get around.
And if flying does become too much of a hassle, don’t forget about the beauty and wonder of the open road right here in America and all the adventure that awaits.