Ministers of the G7 will meet today to discuss the reopening of international travel as the world still comes to terms with COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Travel minsters of the seven so-called largest advanced economies, Canada, Germany, the U.K, the U.S, Japan, Italy, and France. will meet to discuss how travel can get back to the numbers of 2019 as soon as possible as the pandemic ends. The United Kingdom is organizing the meeting as they aim to move closer towards a global consensus on how to ease travel restrictions.
Airlines for Europe — the industry lobby group — called on the G7 to promote the EU’s approach to travel as the global standard. Citizens within the EU can move between countries if they’re fully vaccinated or have evidence of recovery from the disease. Travelers need to present a paper-based or digital bar code as proof of vaccination.
Airlines for Europe said, “by accepting not only vaccination and recovery certificates but also COVID-19 test results, it is both fair and respectful of data privacy.”’
The Current Global Travel Situation
Although the world is slowly reopening as vaccination rates rise, there isn’t a global consensus on how the world should reopen. The easing of restrictions has been slow and painful, and the United States has only recently decided to reopen for non-essential travel in November.
However, details on the reopening still remain vague. The U.S did announce that travelers would need to be fully vaccinated.
Australia and New Zealand also remain completely closed, although the Australian government is preparing to reopen its borders before Christmas. New Zealand, on the other hand, is pursuing its zero-COVID policy and has no concrete plans on how it will reopen to the world.
The E.U was one of the first parts of the world to reopen to international travelers. The bloc reopened to U.S travelers earlier this year in a bid to boost the economy. Canada has also reopened in recent months to fully vaccinated travelers from certain nations, including the U.K and the U.S.
The Asian continent is preparing to reopen, but countries continue to push back reopening dates as vaccination rates stall. Thailand has declared it will reopen parts of the country to international tourists next month.
Vietnam is preparing to reopen the island of Phu Quoc next month, but slow vaccination rates have forced the country to push the reopening date back till the end of 2021.
Malaysia, which has high vaccination rates compared to other Asian nations, is planning to reopen to international visitors soon. Singapore is also planning to reopen to international travelers soon despite COVID-19 cases rising in the country.
Japan has begun easing COVID-19 restrictions within the country and has slightly eased entry restrictions. Still, the nation is far from fully reopening to international visitors.
The travel industry hopes that the G7 meeting will provide a global consensus on how travel will reopen.
The Current Restrictions Worldwide
The entry restriction differs from nation to nation. However, generally speaking, a large portion of nations are allowing travelers to enter if they have proof of vaccination. Some countries are allowing unvaccinated travelers to enter, but they’re often forcing unvaccinated travelers to undergo mandatory quarantine upon arrival.
Most nations still request incoming travelers to have undergone a negative PCR test at least 72 or 96 hours prior to arrival. Another common issue is the vaccines that countries accept. Some nations continue to refuse certain vaccines because of fears over efficacy or delays in approving the vaccine.
The situation is improving, yet it’s still messy. Hopefully, this meeting can push the world into a global consensus.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com