Why is it so difficult to create covid-19 travel bubbles?

They may prove a boon for sagging economies, but they are not for the faint-hearted

Explaining the world, daily
The Economist explains

MANY COUNTRIES rely on tourism and business travel, but few sectors have been as badly damaged by the pandemic. In 2020, travel-industry revenues across the globe plummeted by 49% compared with 2019, to $4.7trn, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, an industry association. The sector’s contribution to global GDP also fell by half, from 10.4% to 5.5%. Meanwhile, the number of people employed in the travel industry fell from 334m to 272m.

read more

EU plans summer opening for vaccinated tourists

(CNN) — After nearly a year of closed borders, the European Union could open in June to fully vaccinated vacationers from countries with low Covid infection rates in time for summer under a plan revealed on Monday.

The easing of restrictions on nonessential travel, which will be welcomed by countries desperate to revive struggling tourism industries, would also allow for an “emergency brake” should infection rates rise again.

Reflecting success with vaccination programs, the EU also wants to relax qualification rules for adding to its safe travel list of countries whose travelers don’t need to be vaccinated or to

read more

COVID-19 brought international travel to a screeching halt at Logan Airport. But there are signs it’s picking up

Airport officials said they are confident that Logan will eventually regain its status as a significant international airport as vaccination rates pick up, the pandemic recedes, and border restrictions are relaxed.

“The city of Boston is attractive, the economic fundamentals are sound, and the airlines are smart,” said Lisa Wieland, chief executive at the Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates Logan. “If you think of the industries that are concentrated here — higher education and hospitals — those are travel-intensive industries . . . the international carriers have reiterated their interest in resuming service at Logan.”

Despite the unprecedented decline

read more

In New Orleans, a Preview of a Possible Summer Travel Boom

NEW ORLEANS—For much of the past year, this city’s Frenchmen Street has been largely silent, the result of pandemic-related lockdowns and a nosedive in tourism. “Butt naked,” is how brass-band leader

James Williams

described Frenchmen, known for its typically bustling all-hours live-music venues.

But in recent weeks, the street—and much of New Orleans—has shown new signs of life.

In mid-March, Mayor

LaToya Cantrell

allowed musicians to resume live performances. Their return has corresponded with a surge in vaccinated tourists eager to experience the city’s celebratory culture that many say represents everything the pandemic isn’t.

“It’s like being reborn,” said

read more

City Offers Homeless One-Way Travel Ticket to Europe if They Sign Contract to Never Return

The city of Basel in Switzerland has offered its homeless community a free one-way ticket to any other European destination if they agree to sign a contract vowing never to return.

Toprak Yergu, a Basel Department of Justice spokesperson, told local newspaper 20 Minutes that homeless individuals in the city can request a travel voucher and 20 Swiss francs (USD$21.90). In return, the individuals must sign a contract vowing not to return to the country for a specified period of time.

The official told the outlet any individuals caught violating the contract could face deportation.

“Beneficiaries must undertake in writing

read more

Best travel pillow of 2021

(CNN) —  

Travel pillows need to strike a tricky balance: not supportive enough and you’ll end up with a crick in your neck, too big and stiff you’ll, er, end up with a crick in your neck. They also need to be compact, lightweight and easy to clean — no small feat for a humble travel accessory!

CNN Underscored spent weeks testing 10 of the most popular and highest-rated travel pillows on the market. We evaluated pillows of all different designs and materials on both comfort and build to determine the best travel pillow for trips via plane, bus or

read more