Americans still hesitant about international travel
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Lots of families postponed leisure travel over the past year as COVID-19 raged, and we’re now seeing the release of some of that pent-up demand. A top European Union official told The New York Times recently that vaccinated Americans will be allowed to travel to EU countries by summer.
The prospect of international travel has prompted some to make plans. Last November, Anita White and her mom were planning to visit Italy: “Rome and Venice and Florence,” White said. “We kind of waited and waited — and then we had to cancel.”
Since the pandemic hit, White’s flown once — domestically. She cancelled a second plane trip because it seemed too risky. Now that White and her mom are fully vaccinated, though, she’s planning on being in Italy in November.
Overall, though, international travel may take quite a while yet to fully rebound. Morning Consult analyst Alyssa Meyers said that in a recent survey, consumers ranked train, bus and domestic air travel well above international air travel in terms of safety and comfort.
It’s unlikely Americans will rush back to international cruises, either, said analyst Tuna Amobi at CFRA Research. “It might not be until late into 2023 that we’re starting to approach pre-pandemic levels.” Cruise lines have trimmed their fleets, Amobi said, but face high operating costs to keep ships in the water.
COVID-19 Economy FAQs
Millions of Americans are unemployed, but businesses say they are having trouble hiring. Why?
This economic crisis is unusual compared to traditional recessions, according to Daniel Zhao, senior economist with Glassdoor. “Many workers are still sitting out of the labor force because of health concerns or child care needs, and that makes it tough to find workers regardless of what you’re doing with wages or benefits,” Zhao said. “An extra dollar an hour isn’t going to make a cashier with preexisting conditions feel that it’s safe to return to work.” This can be seen in the restaurant industry: Some workers have quit or are reluctant to apply because of COVID-19 concerns, low pay, meager benefits and the stress that comes with a fast-paced, demanding job. Restaurants have been willing to offer signing bonuses and temporary wage increases. One McDonald’s is even paying people $50 just to interview.
Could waiving patents increase the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines?
India and South Africa have introduced a proposal to temporarily suspend patents on COVID-19 vaccines. Backers of the plan say it would increase the supply of vaccines around the world by allowing more countries to produce them. Skeptics say it’s not that simple. There’s now enough supply in the U.S that any adult who wants a shot should be able to get one soon. That reality is years away for most other countries. More than 100 countries have backed the proposal to temporarily waive COVID-19 vaccine patents. The U.S isn’t one of them, but the White House has said it’s considering the idea.
Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?
As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy continues reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.
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