Good morning clientele & readers,
I can't believe it's been 20 days since my last post, but that tells you how things have ramped up a bit for clients travel arrangements, and my mornings when I like to write, have been going to productivity instead. Which is a good thing! I've been lacking on my IG as well, but my Twitter & Facebook group have remained very active.
But batter up, the US Dept of State went ahead and threw yet another curve back at the travel industry last night (15 months into pandemic!). I felt it was only responsibile to get out ahead of this for all of you, in case you are getting into a fright about your 2021 travel plans. First I'll sum it up in one word "Don't", but I'll explain why.
What is a Level 4 US Dept of State Travel Advisory? Last night the hashtag #donottravel trended on Twitter, and as it did I rolled my eyes at all the people who think they know everything and tweeting about a new Travel Ban on international travel. Which could not be more wrong and only throws the general traveling public into a panic.
First a Level 4 Advisory, is just that an ADVISORY from the State Department that they really do not want you traveling. Last night it was released that the US State Dept will make 80% of the globe to Level 4 Status.....but here is the kicker, ready? Level 4 is NOT a Travel Ban. Not even on 1 country in Level 4, let alone 80% of the globe in Level 4.
In Level 4, US Citizens can still travel to any Level 4 country that they are able to enter and get to. As long as flights are available to get you there, and you as a US Citizen are allowed to enter the country, nothing is stopping you from visiting your desired country in Level 4. Now most countries Level 4 or not, are going to require arrivals been vaccinated or tested for COVID19, but that is up to those countries not the US. The US Dept of State has no travel authority outside of the US. If other countries were to close their air borders again, then sure you cannot enter that country, but that has nothing to do with Level 4 US Status.
Here is basically Level 4 in a nutshell:
US Dept of State: "We are going to make 80% of the world Level 4 - Do Not Travel - Advisory, ...so we really do not want you all traveling to any of these countries we add to Level 4, but well ummm you can travel to them if you want to, we aren't prohibiting you from going to them, so ummm actually now that we think about it ... it's up to you....thank you" End of briefing. Seriously that is the truth of it.
I'm going to give you some extreme examples of current Level 4 countries and I'm sure you'll see what I mean.
Afghanistan - Level 4 - Do Not Travel - Ok fine makes sense, who wants to go there for leisure travel anyways, let's all avoid it. Even though it's NOT banned.
Turks & Caicos (Caribbean) - Level 4 - Do Not Travel - You could get on a plane, and be on Grace Bay Beach chilling in luxury in a few hours. Nothing is stopping you from going to T&C.
Let's look at Africa. Kenya & Tanzania are both Level 4 countries currently. Two of the best destinations for luxurious African Safaris, and guess what? yep, you can go right now to both countries and enjoy an incredible Safari experience, you are not banned from going to these countries and they are open to US Citizens.
There are 195 countries in the world, if 20% are going to escape Level 4, that's basically around 40 countries. I'm very curious to see who those 40 countries go to. I would not be surprised in the slightest if they go to the entire Caribbean and EU for starters. In fact at the same time as this announcement it is also known that the US Dept of State is in discussions with the EU about reopening transatlantic travel in May/June. Even the French President was quoted last week saying "We will be opening up to tourism including US arrivals in May/June.
Already Greece, Croatia & Iceland have taken matters into their own hands and have opened up for US tourism, and all three of them are now open to US arrivals for summer. Once France opens up, Italy, Spain, Germany and all the rest will follow the leader because none of them want to lose any tourism revenue this summer to the other. Where do you think clients are booking summer vacations to already? YEP! Greece, Croatia & Iceland. These three got out front early and are winning the summer $$$$$$$$ already.
To wrap up, Level 4 is basically a personal decision of your own if you want to travel or not. Level 4 does not enforce any kind of worldwide or country travel ban. If your booked for travel in 2021, nothing changes with this Level 4 announcement, even if the country you are going to ends up on the list. If you were thinking of traveling outside US this summer and now your not sure because of this, then that is a personal choice, but you can go anywhere open to US Citizens & don't let the panic hype crowd convince you that you are not allowed to or not able to travel outside the US.