COVID-19 Travel Updates


Courtesy of Atrium Health

An image of an airplane flying and traveling passengers before COVID-19.

Karina Shah, Photojournalist

In the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed life drastically. Abby Juarez (11), says “The pandemic has been a significant experience for everyone.” People have been attempting social distance; social distancing consists of trying to stay at home, limiting your social activities, and ultimately avoiding as much contact with others as possible. One of the industries most affected by this, the travel industry, has seen a 95% drop since its peak in 2020 ( Currently, the industry has begun to grow again as the COVID-19 pandemic starts to play out. As people start to travel again, the question of ‘how to travel safely?’ comes up.

One of the biggest things affected is travel insurance. For many people traveling, insurance is a key part of their traveling experience in order to keep them secure and safe from anything that may happen. By late April 2020, the number of travel insurance policies had skyrocketed by 200% since January ( This suggests that travelers are looking toward the future and thinking about how they are going to protect themselves on travel. The most popular upcoming plan, as of right now, is a type of plan that allows the traveler to cancel for any reason. This policy, costing about 40% more than standard insurance, will allow you to back out for any reason This can include a global pandemic, or them simply not wanting to go anymore. In addition, travelers who have never bought insurance before, are already deciding to invest in it. 

Next, outdoor activities will rise. Travelers are craving fresh air after being mainly inside for a long period of time. In addition, it is safer to do activities outside due to COVID-19 regulations by the CDC. Misty Belles, managing director of global public relations at Virtuoso, told TPG that as consumer confidence builds, domestic travel will be the first sector to expand; “Wide-open spaces like national parks and ranches will be popular,” she said. These types of vacations are already on the rise as road trips and hikes are ranked in the top ten things to do in the past month in a survey by 

Finally, hygiene and sanitation will have to be a top priority. The industry is facing much scrutiny about opening up again without proper restrictions of safety measures. Many people feel that a new type of safety needs to be integrated into things like airports and hotels that should be set as a standard from now on ( There are many new sanitation standards and social distancing guidelines that are now put in place in order to keep people safe. Things like hand sanitizer stations and socially distanced tables in public spaces have been around since the beginning of the pandemic and will continue on throughout the next few years. Masks are going to be required throughout the travel industry for much of the near future. In some instances, you need to have a COVID-19 test come back as negative in order to travel to a certain spot. 

Since the beginning of COVID-19, there have been many different things that have been affected. Travel is one of the most affected things that has required many changes to be made altogether in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable return to regular life before the pandemic.