Our globalised world has been brought to a crashing halt by coronavirus.
By April, over 90% of the world’s population – 7.1 billion people – lived in countries with coronavirus-related travel restrictions on people arriving from abroad, a Pew study found.
And while local lockdowns are starting to ease in many countries now, the pause on international travel is likely to last far longer. With countries still focused on staving off a second wave of infections, there is little appetite for rapid reopening.
“Travel and immigration – for work, study, seeking asylum – is going to be disrupted much longer than our daily lives, in a way unprecedented in our lifetimes,” said Prof Lindsay Wiley from the American University Washington College of Law.
Senior figures in the aviation industry have already said they expect it to be several years before passenger demand returns to 2019 levels, if it ever does.
Greece’s tourism minister, Harry Theoharis, recently told the Guardian that although the country is desperate to protect its economy, long-haul flights to its islands and beaches are almost certainly out this year.