After months of bans and restrictions, the rollout of several vaccines against the coronavirus has given travelers (and the travel industry) a more hopeful and positive outlook on the future. What comes next will be the need to understand where and how the vaccine will impact travel. Let’s take a look at some of the most recent developments for air travel now that vaccines are entering the mix.

 

  1. Domestic travel not likely affected by vaccines. It is unlikely that air travel providers will require proof of vaccination to board a domestic flight. Several airline spokespeople have stated their belief that universal masking and advanced air filtration during flights are enough to keep travelers safe during the pandemic.

 

  1. Vaccination is giving people more confidence in travel. Receiving the vaccine is helping encourage people to travel again and convincing them that doing so is safe. 79% of business travelers, for example, said that they would feel comfortable taking a trip once they’ve had the vaccine.

 

  1. Use caution and patience after getting vaccinated. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses to be effective, so travelers will want to get both before taking to the skies. The vaccines work by creating an immune response to the virus which has proven effective in preventing infection in individuals, however; the jury is still out on whether vaccinated people can still transmit the virus to others.

 

  1. Business travel may have requirements. There are many unanswered questions in this area, including whether businesses can require their employees to receive the vaccine in order to resume travel on behalf of the company. Some insurance providers may cover the cost of vaccination while others may not – another emerging field of regulation from the pandemic.

 

  1. Watch for “health passports” for international travel. Several airlines and public groups like the World Health Organization are already developing apps that allow travelers to show test results and proof of vaccination. Because travel restrictions between countries have been the most stringent, it’s likely that these health passports will become mandatory for international flights.

 

  1. Mask wearing and social distancing are still the norm. While vaccination will be the key to getting back off the ground, COVID-19 is still a serious threat and we are a long ways from herd immunity. Travelers who’ve been vaccinated should continue to follow the same precautions they have been for the foreseeable future.

 

  1. Recovery is on the way! While vaccinations won’t bring back the carefree social behavior we enjoyed in 2019, they are a giant step towards a return to air travel and consumer confidence. There are trillions of dollars of pent-up consumer demand for travel that will begin to pour into the industry as the vaccination rate climbs and infections gradually decline.

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