The returning traveller

By | Category: Travel news

In most countries residents are faced with a dilemma.

Should they holiday abroad in those countries where they are allowed to go secure in the knowledge that they have no travel insurance or quarantine issues or do they stay at home?

Whether to holiday abroad or not would even tax Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker. Image – Musée Rodin

The problem is not so much going abroad as returning.

The concern is that if there is a spike whilst abroad how easy will it be to return?

Back in March, there were too many stories about people making dashes for the channel ports when France introduced its lock-down or having to wait for a Foreign & Commonwealth chartered flight to bring people back from places like Peru or a Caribbean island after the scheduled services ceased. Even now, there is the occasional story of someone who is still trying to return home after months being up the Orinoco, the Amazon or somewhere else remote.

As second waves of coronavirus spring up, the concern for those taking an overseas break increases.

Local lockdowns have sprung up in Catalonia and Aragon in Spain, in Israel, in the Australian state capital of Victoria – Melbourne, the Chinese city of Urumqui, Singapore, South Korea and other places when local spikes have been spotted. In the case of Urumqi it was just a handful of cases rather than hundreds but, nonetheless, the Chinese authorities cracked down hard to contain the outbreak. Getting out of the city wasn’t easy.

In Melbourne, five million people have been placed in a degree of lockdown.

Even in Leicester in the UK, a local outbreak imposed difficulties for residents to move about. Local communities in the UK are also concerned about visitors to their region. Ceredigion in mid Wales had banners asking people not to come now but come later. The Scottish island of Eigg has asked visitors not to come until at least September in order to try and protect those that are vulnerable on the island.

Will it be any easier than last time when lockdowns occurred and it meant lengthy journeys for some people to return home?

Even if you can get a flight back home what will happen on your return? The chances must be that you would have to self-isolate for fourteen days or maybe shorter if you showed no signs.

In Victoria an inquiry is underway to find out how infected passengers returning from overseas could have spread the disease, despite being required to be in mandatory isolation.

What Victoria is facing is the concern of all destinations – the returning traveller. If you can’t stop the virus spreading in a contained area in which you are escorted in by police, what can you do?

And that is why after the first rush to go on an overseas holiday after the travelling restrictions were eased there has been bit of a lull.

Many have settled on a staycation or put off travelling abroad until later in the year or even next. Greece has reported that the number of hotels re-opening will be fewer than expected due to a lack of demand.

Could it be that all those who want to holiday abroad have booked and that few other people will travel abroad?

If that is the case, one of the reasons must surely be the concern of either catching the virus abroad or of he hassles upon their return.

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