Travel doesn’t just face risk from COVID-19, but from the response to COVID-19, and more importantly from changes in that response. In other words regime uncertainty.
- A group of Bangladeshis were deported from Italy when changes to entry requirements were imposed while they were enroute (some of them may also have misrepresented their health status).
- How can you buy tickets now for travel to New York in a few weeks when New York’s list of states whose residents have to quarantine for 14 days on arrival changes based on confirmed case counts? You may make travel plans now only to find that in just a few weeks those plans are no longer possible.
The near future is too unknowable for many people to be able to plan travel. And what happens if you are exposed to someone that tests positive for the virus while you’re gone, and have to self-quarantine instead of returning home?
Perhaps the biggest moving target right now is Hawaii. They announced an August 1 re-opening, where tourists would be able to visit without quarantine on arrival provided they had a recent negative COVID-19 test prior to departure. People have made plans, booked airline tickets and hotels, organized pet sitters, purchased new swimwear and all the other things some people do before taking what and this point probably feels like a much-needed vacation.
However the state’s Lieutenant Governor says the state will postpone its August 1 re-opening with the governor expected to make the announcement “after the weekend.”
Although even this news comes with uncertainty, because though it’s shared by the Lieutenant Governor, who says it’s going to be shared by the governor, he also suggests that the governor may not have finalized the decision.
“The governor has to make this decision. The best approach is to delay so that we’re safer, so we can get control of the virus with a date certain. And then two weeks before that, give an update of where we are right now,” said Green.
Piling on the uncertainty, if there’s a delay the Lieutenant Governor says that it’ll be to some time in the future, where the end date gets announced “two weeks before that” – but this time it’ll be “a date certain.”
Hawaii has had 1139 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 19 people have died.