Since the most economically detrimental pandemic outbreak has caused the entire world to halt. This has challenged the countries to unlearn their past practices. The new tough times demand different solutions.
Multiple industries considered to be pillars of highly lucrative businesses struggle against an economic collapse.
As per the predictions by the World Tourism Organization, international tourism can decline up to 80% bringing 100 million jobs at risk. Covid-19 has unleashed major trouble for everyone on this planet.
However, since the entire world has taken precautionary measures to restrict the outbreak, some countries have been more successful than others.
These countries that have devised a commendable action plan, to strive towards prosperity and economic stability. This is where the concept of “Travel Bubble” came about. Travel Bubble is also known as “Corona Corridor” is an agreement between countries that have been successful in containing the outbreak. These countries agree to open their borders, and allow safe traveling but continue to restrict movements from countries not part of the corridor.
Initially, this is primarily applicable and possible for countries that are geographically close to each other, New Zealand and Australia being a perfect example.
New Zealand and Australia breaking free of Isolation
New Zealand, played well in curbing the Coronavirus. They closed the borders in March with a complete strict lockdown. They just celebrated its second week of zero reported COVID-19 case. Their Australian neighbors, not far behind have only reported 15 new cases.
This provides the countries with the opportunity to venture into a new stage of economic stability. More importantly, this allows more movements beyond essential or official visits.
Needless to say this not completely free of risk but the fact that both countries have similar favorable conditions. This corridor is still worth pursuing since it offers not just a stepping stone towards the world free of forced isolation. But also provides a head start from countries that are still struggling for survival.
Moreover, this is a significant step for New Zealand as Australians make up to 40% of international tourists with tourism being the country’s biggest export industry. This can be expanded to countries that are taking drastic measures towards containing the virus and succeeding such as Hong Kong and South Korea.
How does it defer from traveling in the current scenario?
The most essential requirement for traveling is definitely adequate screening, testing, and a quarantine period of up to two weeks.
Under the Travel bubble, there is a high element of belief in the other country. Hence the emphasis on the desirable scenario of minimal to none cases in the countries that are part of the corridor.
Furthermore, COVID tests are conducted prior to leaving the country and upon arrival, both paid by the person traveling. There is also the introduction of “Green Lanes” or “Fast Lanes” that zero to minimum quarantine periods.
More Countries to follow
While New Zealand and Australia have still not completely reached a certain decision, Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have already opened their borders hoping to bring back stability as the movement is permitted between the three countries.
Finland and Poland are next in line to join the Baltic states provided the situation is desirable. Furthermore, as per the EU states, France has allowed skipping quarantine periods requirements for travelers from other EU countries. Czechia has also shown interest in opening borders to Austria, Slovakia, and Croatia as these countries have shown significant progress.
Germany has also been highly proactive and is now showing interest in opening its borders with France, Austria, and Switzerland. Even a non-EU country such as Israel is viewing this as a progressive step. Mainland China is also pressing to include Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Macau in the “Travel Bubble”.
Singapore’s Arsenal for an uphill battle
Singapore will resume air travel with china in the next 2 weeks. However, Singapore, being perceived as the epitome of an ideal progressive economy, has traded from the outside world consisting of three times of its GDP. Especially mainland China with over 137.3 billion Singaporean dollars.