One of the most important factors that will determine how quickly travel can resume is the development and widespread deployment of a COVID-19 vaccine. The intergovernmental body working towards this goal is COVAX, and as a first step, they aim to produce and distribute the vaccine to the most vulnerable 20% of all participating countries’ population by 2021. This is still a considerable amount of time to wait.
Until then, governments and travellers will be approaching travel with the threat of COVID-19 without the safety net of a vaccine.
The wait for a vaccine directly impacts the second major limiting factor for travel: confidence. If people aren’t willing to travel, or if government restrictions remain rigid, there won’t be enough demand to warrant the travel industry to operate. This is especially true for small businesses in tourists towns, but also for multi-million-dollar airlines – some of which have already folded.