It is early March 2021, one year +/- after Covid-19 spread worldwide. Non-essential travel to the EU from the United States (and most other countries) remains prohibited and most EU countries still have full or partial lockdowns in place following the fall 2020 case surge. Optimists suggest that travel should re-open soon; given the approval of multiple vaccines and vaccination rates, especially in the U.S. Pessimists suggest the opposite; citing the virus’ mutation, lower EU vaccination rates and the inability of countries to reach a consensus within the EU, let alone reach consensus with other states. With this backdrop, Knee Deep Into History conducted an unscientific survey of potential battlefield tourists, seeking their thoughts on the timing and conditions required for the resumption of non-essential travel. Here are the results of that poll, with the greatest response to each question in bold. Note that we had 80 – 81 responses for each question.
- By what date do you expect non-essential travel between the U.S. and EU to be possible?
- 1 April 2021–5%
- 1 July 2021–16%
- 1 October 2021–43%
- 1 January 2022–24%
- 1 April 2022 or later–12%
2. What restrictions do you think will be required to travel between the U.S. and EU once non-essential travel is possible?
- Proof of vaccination prior to departure–45%
- A Covid-19 test taken within a few days of travel–8%
- A Covid-19 rapid test taken at the airport–1%
- Both Covid-19 tests–10%
- All of the above–36%
3. Do you think a self-quarantine period will also be required?
- Maybe, depending on the country–65%
4. In selecting the date in question Nr. 1, which factor do you believe is MOST IMPORTANT?
- The rate of Covid-19 cases / deaths in the EU–28%
- The rate of Covid-19 cases / deaths in the U.S.–21%
- The vaccination rate in the EU–23%
- The vaccination rate in the U.S.–29%
5. When will YOU feel comfortable traveling to Europe?
- As soon as travel restrictions are removed–27%
- As soon as you have been vaccinated–19%
- As soon as EU countries you wish to visit have removed full / partial lockdowns for their citizens and visitors–24%
- As soon as EU countries you wish to visit have removed full / partial lockdowns for an extended period of time–perhaps 2+ months–31%
6. Do you periodically monitor European Covid-19 rates / lockdown news in the countries you wish to visit?
Our respondents are suggesting that non-essential travel could re-open by 1 October and, perhaps, only proof of vaccination will be required to travel. However, the largest % of responders answered that they would only feel comfortable traveling after the EU countries they wish to visit have removed full / partial lockdowns for an extended period. Time will tell if this timeline becomes reality.
For those readers who wish to track travel restrictions, we recommend viewing this EU website from time to time: Travel during the coronavirus pandemic | European Commission (europa.eu)
Knee Deep Into History is offering three battlefield tours this year: The Ardennes Offensive (WW2), The Meuse-Argonne and St. Mihiel (WW1) and Flanders Fields and the Somme (WW1.) However, we have delayed our tours until September with the anticipation that travel will be re-opened by then. Readers are encouraged to visit our website, https://kneedeepintohistory.com, for tour schedules and descriptions, our tour philosophy and history, testimonials, and our terms and conditions.
We want to thank all survey responders, and we hope we can all get knee deep into history in Europe again soon!
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