All around the world, as countries decide how to restart international travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the idea of a travel bubble — sometimes called a travel corridor — is gaining steam
Last week, three European countries — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — opened their borders to each other to create a Baltic bubble.Three Baltic countries just created the first European travel bubble, and now authorities at London’s Heathrow Airport have recommended that Britain get its own travel bubble.The three European Union (EU) states, who have launched this measure, have so far remained comparatively unscathed by the virus, recording less than 150 combined Covid-19 deaths as of May 17.
For weeks now, Australia and New Zealand have been talking about forming a travel bubble-“trans-Tasman travel bubble.
”China is considering allowing Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea in its bubble, while Israel is in bubble talk with Greece and Cyprus.
What is a Travel Bubble?
Two or more countries that have successfully curtailed COVID-19 agree to create a bubble. People who live inside the bubble could then travel freely and avoid a mandatory self-quarantine requirement.
- In the Estonia-Latvia-Lithuania travel bubble, residents would be able to travel freely by rail, air, and sea without quarantine measures.
- All three are sparsely populated (Lithuania- 28 lakh, Latvia- 19.2 lakh, Estonia- 13.3 lakh people) and have been fairly successful at managing the outbreak.
- People from the outside countries, willing to join the bubble corridor, will have to go into isolation for 14 days.
- One should not have travelled outside the member countries of the travel bubble, in the past 14 days.
- One should not be infected with coronavirus and should not have come in contact with anyone who has been coronavirus infected
Creating a travel bubble involves reconnecting countries or states that have shown a good level of success in containing the novel coronavirus pandemic domestically. Such a bubble would allow the members of the group to rekindle trade ties with each other, and kickstart sectors such as travel and tourism.
1.The global travel and tourism industry was estimated to be worth over $700 billion in 2020 – and it’s now forecast to be $447 billion as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.The tourism industry can begin to revive in stages post-lockdown.
2.Such travel will be mutually beneficial, assisting trade and economic recovery,enhancing sporting contacts, and reuniting families and friends between the participating countries.
1.Epidemiologists are widely supportive of the plan but say it will make contact tracing more difficult, and risk one or both countries re-entering stringent lockdown if cases emerge.
2.New Cases of Infection from either of the two countries to the other could emerge.
Source:The Indian Express
The Baltic countries, or simply the Baltics, is a geopolitical term, used to group the three sovereign states in Northern Europe on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
Trans-Tasman Travel Bubble-‘Proposed’
Tasman Sea, section of the southwestern Pacific Ocean, between the southeastern coast of Australia and Tasmania on the west and New Zealand on the east