The Economist, a weekly that was founded in 1843, published two pieces last week that argued how inefficient the current travel restrictions are and why they should be lifted.
If you are into international news regarding politics, policies, and economics, subscribing to the Economist is a must.
Here’s an excerpt of the Economist article: Travel chaos will last well beyond summer
With only 18% of people fully vaccinated, Australia relies on the bluntest of policy instruments: locking people up to quarantine in government-approved facilities For such countries, the only way to reopen safely is to vaccinate most people first and then experiment, as Singapore is considering. New Zealand had to scrap that plan this week when a labour shortage prompted the government to say it would reopen borders a bit despite a low vaccination rate.
A second group of governments is asking people to live with the virus. By June only 13% of countries in Europe remained closed to international travellers, compared with 70% in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the UN’s World Tourism Organisation. Widespread vaccination makes opening easier. Pent-up demand for travel makes it popular.
Because the virus spreads exponentially, ten imported cases and a hundred lead to a similar-sized outbreak after just a few weeks, notes Adam Kucharski, an epidemiologist. “Anything but very strict travel restrictions will just delay things,” he adds.
Today’s travel restrictions are supposed to protect natives from imported covid. Yet they do a poor job of it. A few countries, mostly islands and dictatorships, have managed to keep out the virus through truly draconian restrictions. Even this has come at a cost in terms of reducing pressure to be vaccinated quickly. Only 21% of New Zealanders over 12 are fully vaccinated, for example, compared with 68% of Britons. Countries that put their faith in isolation are thus finding it hard to reopen.
Most countries have land borders and voters. For them isolation was never feasible. Instead, they have adopted a confusing, illogical mess of rules. America bars travellers from Britain and the European Union, its closest allies and trade partners, and also two of the most vaccinated big places in the world, while admitting those from South-East Asia, where the Delta variant is rampant.
Once a variant of the virus has started to spread in the local population, infections double every couple of weeks. Entry bans make very little difference to the total caseload.
You should read the two pieces on the Economist website. It is tough to come to any other conclusion than they have about the inefficiencies of the current policy framework of many countries.
Keeping the borders closed after everyone who is willing to get vaccinated has been, does very little good, and the virus will eventually reach everyone.
The US rules of banning Europeans arriving directly from Europe but allowing them to enter after spending two weeks in countries such as Mexico or Turkey has zero base in science.