The global coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we get from place to place. Airports have been entirely shut down, only to reopen with a whole range of restrictions in place. Similar limitations, albeit on a smaller scale, have been imposed on domestic and local transport hubs, like train stations.
All of this has caused significant disruption and inconvenience, to put it mildly. Which leads us to the question: when are things going to return to normal? Will the meaning of the word ‘normal’ be permanently changed?
Let’s look at some of the ways in which travel might be altered in the long-term.
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While international flights might once again become available, there might be considerable uncertainty among the paying customers who will board planes. 2020 was the year of the staycation – tourists decided to take the opportunity to see the sights without going overseas. If this trend persists, we might see less demand on airlines, and thus lower prices for the business travellers who remain. If you’re catching a Doncaster to London train, similarly, you might see fewer passengers thanks to the spread of working-from-home practices, this is a also a positive in stopping the spread of Covid-19 going forwards.
Certain kinds of business rely a great deal on travel. These companies might offer their travelling employees training in how to minimise risk. This might mean frequent hand-washing and facemask wearing, but it might also include lessons in how to hold virtual meetings and other measures which make travel unnecessary, also saving the company money in the long-term. 2020 has seen the rise of companies employing and training people all before physically meeting them.
Until vaccination becomes universal, travellers may have to pass temperature checks when moving from one place to another. Covid testing has been in place at Heathrow Airport since October, which facilitates entry into foreign territories with stringent requirements. If you’re doing business in Hong Kong, then these measures are sure to make life much easier, and along with stopping the spread or Covid-19 it can also help stop the spread of normal flus as well. People are generally less likely to travel if they feel slightly unwell rathe than just pushing through it and hoping for the best. This also shows a change in our mind set towards illness, putting ourselves and our health first is definitely a change for the better.
Keeping surfaces spotless is effective in limiting the spread of the virus – and it’s especially effective where food is concerned. Airports, passenger compartments, and rental cars are likely to be spotless for the foreseeable future, however, thanks to the reassuring effect that it has on customers. The pandemic might raise our expectations for cleanliness permanently.
The rise of Zoom during the pandemic might cause many firms to question the amount they’re spending on international travel. Even though the majority of salesmen will feel that a face to face meeting can never be replace, it can be a very good way for a company to look at reducing their carbon footprint, something everyone should be concerned about. Cutting non essential travel can also be a very quick a easy was to reduce outgoings– especially given that the cost of travel is likely to rise as the scale is reigned in. Obviously the return to Business travel will highly depend on the company and the country in which the travel is being done, many places will still have local restriction and quarantine regulations in place going into 2021.