DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor or any kind of medical professional. I am basing my opinions based not only on the news, but what I have learned from worldwide contacts in airlines, hotels, tourism boards, and other companies very focused on regular travel resuming.
For anybody hoping to travel in 2021 and possibly into 2022, there are two things you need to know. The first will apply worldwide, the second will be country specific and, in some cases, region specific.
The news that may trigger travel to come on like a flood is if vaccines or particular vaccines prevent the vaccinated from infecting the unvaccinated. On February 20th, news hit about a study by the Mayo Clinic that will be a positive for travel opening up soon—for the vaccinated. It’s possible that some vaccines will not prevent infection in others. It is possible that whichever vaccine you receive will determine where you can travel to and when.
The other factors include vaccine plans in each country and when “herd immunity” is expected for that country. All of this could impact your travel plans between 2021-2022.Sadly, metrics are not enough in every case. In looking at the African continent, South Africa on some reports seems to be more biologically dangerous than the rest of Africa. In my opinion, this is due to South Africa actually having a working, government led medical system. The rest of the nations in Southern and Western Africa are actually behind South Africa for safety. In many cases, booking travel will require the information of experts in that destination. South Africa is one of my most loved destinations, I wish the best for its recovery.
*Credit to Singita for their name and for more importantly, the African experiences they deliver on.
Another thing to consider, is that an excellent initial response to the pandemic is not necessarily indicative of an early opening to international travelers. I was recently looking at New Zealand, a paragon in prevention worldwide, where vaccination protocols started later, likely due to the massive cost involved. However, with New Zealand not vaccinating the general citizenry until July, it’s possible that we won’t be able to get to New Zealand in our summer. Which is tragic, because New Zealand is epically amazing in their summer. Another word about my Kiwi friends: New Zealand had the option of waiting because they did such an exemplary job in preventing the spread. Way to go NZ! We will see you soon!
COVID Vaccinations In the World List: https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations
Two Israeli studies suggest COVID-19 vaccines prevent infection, raising hopes for return to normalcy (washingtonexaminer.com)
Do COVID shots prevent infection? That's key to returning to normal (msn.com)
Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine is 92% effective at preventing serious illness, Israeli study says (thetime.co.uk)