A year after the start of the pandemic, life has still not returned to its normal course and most countries are still subject to strict restrictions on movement, both within their own territory and beyond their borders. . Wearing a compulsory mask, closing of restaurants, bars and cultural spaces, curfews, PCR testing and quarantine… restrictions have multiplied and have above all become permanent, especially since the appearance of new variants of the even more contagious virus.
117 billion dollars in losses for air transport in 2020
Despite an encouraging summer marked by the easing of restrictive measures and a desire to travel to regain a semblance of normal life, airlines recorded a 60% drop in traffic over the year and losses amounting to 117 billion euros. dollars. Unfortunately, individualized crisis management at the level of countries, and even sometimes between regions, does not augur better prospects for the aviation sector in 2021, which is still expected to lose $ 39 billion according to the latest forecasts. of IATA.
With the almost daily evolution of restrictions and the multiplication of specificities between countries, the tourist landscape is constantly blurring and the uncertainty of travelers is felt: PCR test for some, quarantine for others, opening of borders to travelers in from certain countries only, restaurants closing at the last minute … despite the efforts made by tourism agents in terms of offers and cancellation policy, the multiplicity and instability of the measures put in place to fight against the spread of the virus are struggling to get traffic back off the ground.
While we hoped to see the situation improve from 2021, this dynamic suggests an obscure future for the aviation sectors and more generally for tourism, which have already gone through many areas of turbulence since the start of the pandemic. Bankruptcy of the airline Flybe, elimination of 6,500 jobs at Air France and 1,900 at Accor Europe, 5,000 jobs threatened at Airbus … State aid will unfortunately not be enough to avoid the crash for many companies already weakened by a year 2020 except common.
In this uncertain context, and for lack of other solutions to which to cling, all eyes are now on the vaccine which appears, today, as the only viable escape route in the long term.
Collective immunity will not be reached in 2021
To date, around 60 countries have started their vaccination campaign and more than 40 million doses have already been administered worldwide. If the most optimistic hope for a return to normal by this summer, collective immunity – estimated at 60% of the population – will not be reached in 2021 according to the WHO and this raises many questions about the management of the crisis in the coming months.
While waiting for the grail of this immunity, will we soon be able to circulate freely between countries? When will the restriction measures be lifted? How are we going to revitalize the economy and tourism? So many questions subject to the evolution of contaminations and to which each country tries to answer individually.
Unfortunately, only a common pandemic management policy could so far make it possible to encourage once again travel between countries applying strictly the same health rules and entry conditions to their territories. But since an alliance between the great powers of this world does not seem to be on the agenda, all hopes therefore remain based on the acceleration of the vaccination process on a global scale.
However, if the vaccine is our only real hope to get out of the crisis, it may well be that no one can escape it … and certainly not the travelers for whom the vaccination passport could become the key to entry into any territory.