The global pandemic has canceled or delayed most travel plans for 2020. Now that we’re in the waning weeks of the current calendar year, all eyes are looking to 2021. Specifically, many are wondering how a Biden presidency will impact their travel plans and the travel industry.
Stricter Travel Protocols?
Many are watching what Biden’s coronavirus task force comes up with as we enter the cold winter months. Inauguration Day is January 20, 2021, and we can expect several stricter measures to help contain infection rates.
Will There Be A Nationwide Travel Ban?
To a certain extent, disease experts believe infection rates can increase during the colder months. As the Biden administration will move into the White House in January, he will have to address above-average infection rates due to the cooler weather and the lack of preventative measures from the Trump administration.
One recommendation on the table is a national lockdown for at least 4-6 weeks. If a lockdown happens, no unessential travel will occur until the warmer spring weather arrives. The timing can be similar to when most states shut down in early 2020 at the pandemic’s onset.
High infection rates cause states and local cities to discourage non-essential travel. Several states also have mandatory quarantine or require a negative PCR test to waive the self-isolation period.
While it might feel like ancient history with everything going on this year, Europe is not allowing direct entry from the United States. The leading reason is that the United States has an excessive infection rate.
As a result, Americans have few international travel options until the threat of coronavirus dissipates.
Will There Be A National Mask Mandate?
President-elect Biden is advocating for a nationwide mask mandate. As federal law doesn’t give the president the ability to enact a national mandate, Biden states he will work with state leadership.
Approximately 34 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico currently have a mandatory mask mandate to reduce the potential spread. Even in states without mask mandates, many public attractions require wearing masks, such as theme parks and museums.
As more people wear masks, we might see increasing confidence for people to travel.
Will The U.S. Have A Contact Tracing App?
Another virus control strategy is emphasizing contract tracing. We might see a national contact tracing app. While most U.S. citizens can’t travel to Canada, Canada requires all incoming travelers to download the ArriveCAN app.
Contract tracing apps can include this information:
- Your travel and contact information
- Quarantine plan
- Uploaded PCR test results
- COVID-19 symptom self-assessment
Several states already have a contact tracing app that you can download