April 26, 2021 at 04:58PM

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate parts of the globe, countries that have carried out successful vaccination efforts are wondering how to allow people to travel again.

As Bloomberg reported Monday (April 26), European Union countries hope to issue vaccine passports for people who have been inoculated, while nations such as Australia and New Zealand and Singapore and Hong Kong have joined forces to set up “travel bubbles” allowing citizens to visit without mandatory quarantines.

Airlines and hotels are readying themselves for passengers and guests, while restaurants in tourist destinations — assuming they’ve stayed open — have begun to restock.

“There’s optimism that we’re getting a little closer to seeing some form of travel this summer, especially in the trans-Atlantic market,” John Strickland, owner of aviation advisory firm JLS Consulting in London, told Bloomberg. “Airlines have done a lot of the spade work on digital travel passports and testing, and there’s a huge impetus on governments to get some travel going.”

As PYMNTS reported Sunday, the heads of both American Airlines and Southwest are reporting an increase in booking ahead of the summer travel season, although it’s not clear if that demand will restore the travel industry to its former health.

In an interview with the New York Times, Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Union’s executive body, said a vaccine passport will allow Americans to travel in the 27 EU countries this summer, as the European Medicines Agency has approved the three vaccine types — Modern, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson — administered in the U.S.

However, von der Leyen did not issue any sort of time frame for when or how tourist travel would resume in Europe.

And as Bloomberg notes, “normal” is still a long way off. India is suffering through the most devastating COVID outbreak so far, with 300,000 new cases reported daily. Many countries have barely begun to vaccinate their populations, and the U.S. still has more than three quarters of the world’s nations on a “do not travel” list.

EU Looks To Vaccine Passports As Global Travel Begins Reopening …

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