The international travel ban may be axed, but for many Australians, the risks associated with overseas adventures are still overwhelming.
To ease your clients’ minds, all good travel agents need access to the latest up-to-date information about which countries will waive quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated Australians and how protected a destination is from COVID-19 outbreaks.
Independent data and analytics consultancy Decision Inc. has put together a helpful tool that keeps track of many of the factors we now need to consider when travelling overseas.
Using up-to-date, publically available data, the company launched its Pandemic Risk Index, which tracks vaccination rates, case numbers per million, the stringency of quarantine measures and the approved vaccines in the 10 most popular travel destinations of Australians (by revenue spent) to provide certainty to the travel sector as well as business and leisure travellers across the country.
The index provides an interactive map allowing users to scroll over a country and be provided with vaccination rates, approved vaccines and current quarantine measures in place, which will be updated weekly.
According to the data, Canada, Japan, and New Zealand are currently the ‘safest bets’ for Australians looking to both get past the custom gates and experience a level of relative freedom once there without significant exposure to COVID-19.
Reviewing the analysis, Decision Inc. believes Thailand would be a destination to avoid in the immediate term, with a low vaccination rate, high cases numbers and mid-level stringency measures indicating a slow return to normalcy.
Conversely, Fiji may be a destination to watch with a climbing vaccination rate, a low infection rate and top stringency measures which are able to bring COVID to heel quickly.
The US is also worth considering with reasonable vaccination rates and case numbers, though this varies on a state-by-state basis.
“Despite welcoming ‘freedom day’, we do not operate in a vacuum,” said Aiden Heke, CEO of Decision Inc. in Australia.
“While the Australian government has been clear recently in its intent to open our borders and reduce the impact of quarantine on arrival back on our shores, the same doesn’t necessarily hold true of our most popular travel destinations.
“We all want to know our prospects of remaining healthy are as good or better at our destination than where we left, and Australia’s prospects for COVID-19 economic recovery is trending the right way.
“With the Delta variant continuing to wreak havoc in some regions, travellers need to make educated choices if they are to enjoy their trip or undertake business without potentially looking at getting unavailable hospital bed treatment or having to quarantine for an extended period, even if double vaccinated.”
The company used publically available data to provide insights into the safety of a country by comparing vaccination rates, the approved vaccines in that nation, the population density, and new cases per million population.
For example, while Singapore has a full vaccination rate of more than 80 per cent, its cases continue to rise.
Canada, while its vaccination rate is slightly lower at 73.9 per cent, has a low case rate, and its approved vaccines are identical to that of Australia.
“No one wants to end up in a potentially unavailable hospital bed versus a poolside sun lounge, but it is, unfortunately, a potential issue that travellers need to consider, regardless of their vaccination status,” Heke said.
Featured image source: iStock/ArtMarie