There seems to have been a decisive shift in traveler sentiment of late, with people treating the pandemic as though it’s essentially over. As a growing number of countries relax their COVID-19 protocols and lift travel restrictions, travelers’ health and safety concerns have lessened, and a good portion is ready to be done with pandemic-related border policies.
Global Rescue—one of the world’s leading travel risk and crisis response providers—recently conducted a survey of over 1,200 of its current and former clients between April 5 and 9, 2022, to produce the Spring 2022 Traveler Safety and Sentiment Survey report.
According to its survey of seasoned travelers, one-third of travelers (32 percent) believe the U.S. government should abolish its current policy requiring inbound international travelers to supply a negative COVID-19 test in order to return to the U.S. from abroad, at least for the fully vaccinated. An almost identical amount (34 percent) of respondents said that it should eliminate the requirement for U.S. citizens, but not for non-citizens.
“Unfortunately, many of today’s governmental rules are not medically indicated. We’re hopeful that changes soon,” said Dan Richards, CEO of Global Rescue and a member of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board at the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The vast majority of survey participants (84 percent) said that they’re now “less” or “much less” concerned about traveling than they were in the early days of the pandemic. However, 15 percent of respondents said that meeting the testing requirement for re-entry into the U.S. is their main source of anxiety surrounding international travel, just behind getting stranded abroad if they should test positive for COVID-19 during their trip.
Survey findings showed that many travelers no longer believe pandemic protocols are necessary, such as wearing masks and social distancing. Nearly half (42 percent) of respondents reported that they don’t plan on continuing any COVID-related health and safety precautions unless they’re required to. One-third (33 percent) disagreed, saying they plan to continue wearing face masks despite the widespread lifting of mask mandates.
“Travelers want to travel now more than ever. One out of four travelers (27 percent) will spend more time or more money – or both – on trips to make up for curtailed travel due to the pandemic. They’re going to get their travel revenge once governments allow them to move with fewer or no restrictions,” Richards remarked.