US Travel Ban May Last Until 2021?

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Most countries decided to effectively ban all non-citizen/resident incoming (and some even outgoing) travel before (still on-going) the first peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Argentina banned all incoming flights until September (read more here), and Spain may be closed for tourists until October (read more here). Australia and New Zealand may allow travel between countries soon, but others may have to wait until 2021.

Many have wondered when the United States is open again for business and leisure travel? It doesn’t appear to be too soon based on an interview that the US Treasury secretary gave to a US TV channel according to an article on Financial Times.

Here’s an excerpt from the Financial Times (access their piece here):

Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury secretary, said it was “too hard to tell” if the US will loosen international travel restrictions affecting Asia and Europe this year, even as measures limiting domestic economic activity are lifted.

The failure to lift those bans throughout the summer months would mark a further blow to the global travel and hospitality sector.

Asked on Fox Business if international travel would be “opened up this year”, Mr Mnuchin said: “Too hard to tell at this point. I hope down the road it is . . . Our priority is opening up the domestic economy.”

He then added: “Obviously, for business people that do need to travel, there will be travel on a limited basis. But this is a great time for people to explore America.”

Conclusion

As I was pointing out last week (read more here), international travel will be very challenging until the coronavirus pandemic is over worldwide in 18 to 24 months (once we have herd immunity, preferably through a vaccine or the virus has gone through the population).

It is challenging for leisure travelers to plan trips due to possible second or third waves that may suddenly make transit points non-accessible or destination countries borders closed or requiring quarantine upon arrival.

I would be very hesitant to book any travel now beyond domestic within the United States or perhaps within Schengen countries in Europe (for later this year).

Perhaps it is better to start planning for trips in 2021 and just write off 2020?

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