Following meetings at the ASEAN summit, several Southeast Asian nations have called for the establishment of a travel corridor between their countries in the new year, as they desperately try to recover some of the money lost from the closing of their borders.
How Does a Travel Corridor Work?
One of the latest travel solutions to stem from the pandemic, many nations across the world have established “travel corridors”, which allow travel between low-risk countries countries with less Covid-related restrictions imposed on travelers. These include measures such as reduced quarantine durations, or removing the need to self-isolate upon return to your home country.
Also known as air bridges or travel bubbles, they create a more convenient way to travel for countries that have been deemed to be safe to travel between and that have managed the virus well. It allows countries to carry on with a semblance of normality and tourism, though not quite to the extent that it was prior to the pandemic. An example of a travel corridor would be the European Union, where member states have relatively free levels of movement between one another.
Proposed ASEAN Travel Corridor
The ongoing ASEAN summit – hosted by Vietnam but mostly online this year due to the current situation – has seen prominent politicians from its member states (Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos) discuss the challenges facing their nations and look for solutions.
One such solution that has been pushed heavily by Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo is the establishment of a travel corridor between the member states. Whilst not a new idea – Thailand and Malaysia both supported the establishment of a travel corridor back in June – it is one that will get a lot of attention and consideration during this year’s summit.
Indonesia is home to the largest coronavirus outbreak in the region, but other member states of ASEAN have coped with the virus extremely well, with Thailand receiving plaudits from the World Health Organization for how they have curbed the spread of the virus.
Without a second wave in sight, and with many of the ASEAN member states extremely reliant on tourism, the establishment of a travel corridor would prove to be a welcome step in the right direction, both for citizens with struggling businesses and for international tourists who wish to travel to these countries.
Travel Corridors Are Being Used Around The World
There are several travel corridors already in existence across the globe. Citizens of the United Kingdom can travel to various European countries, as well as more exotic nations such as Fiji and the United Arab Emirates.
Americans are currently free to travel to Mexico, Brazil, Haiti, Zambia, North Macedonia, Belarus and Turkey without restrictions, and can travel to several other countries with a negative Covid-19 test result and a period of quarantine. Discussion of an air bridge between the US and the UK have been ongoing for a period of several months but, with no signs of either country being in control of the virus, there has yet to be a formal agreement between the two.
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