Travel is slowly beginning to return to normal once again. People are ready to explore, and we’d be lying if we said we weren’t eager to get back out and see the world as well. Though most of us are willing to hop on a plane as soon as possible, the borders of many countries are still closed. Fortunately, there are talks of travel bubbles being put into effect across the globe. This could make it so that citizens of specific countries can freely travel from one country to another, helping to boost tourism and business travel. There’s a good chance that travel bubbles will begin popping up in the upcoming months, and it’s important that you are well informed on the topic. So, what exactly is a travel bubble, and what are some things you’ll want to be aware of? Here’s what you need to know:
What Exactly is a Travel Bubble?
Travel bubbles are essentially an agreement between two or more countries that allows their citizens to travel from one country to another freely. Countries will usually form a travel bubble if they feel as if the spread of the coronavirus is being controlled properly.
Citizens of these countries can usually travel without having to quarantine and typically won’t have to follow other rules and restrictions, such as showing proof of a negative COVID test.
What Are Some Current and Potential Travel Bubbles?
People are ready and eager to travel for leisure and business as soon as possible. Many companies took a hit, especially at the start of the pandemic, and are now ready to resume domestic and international business trips. Travel bubbles could help jumpstart the return of business travel and allow the tourism industry to pick back up.
Here is a list of some current and potential travel bubbles as of June 29, 2021:
- The United States and the United Kingdom: Start date not yet decided
- Hong Kong and Singapore: Could potentially begin July 2021
- The United States and European Union: Start date not yet decided
- Australia and New Zealand: Began April 2021
- St. Lucia and 11 Other Caribbean Countries: Was updated May 2021
How Could Travel Bubbles Affect Me?
If you live in a country that has a travel bubble agreement with another country, you will most likely be able to travel to that country without having to quarantine, without having to get tested for COVID-19, and without having to follow some rules and regulations that people outside of the travel bubble have to follow. You should be able to travel freely across the borders of the countries within your travel bubble, whereas people outside of the travel bubble will have to comply with numerous rules and restrictions.
Overall, the goal of a travel bubble is to try and keep everyone safe while traveling, control the spread of the coronavirus, and help you feel more secure when traveling.
Where Can I Get a Passport For My Upcoming Trip?
If you find that your country of residence does begin to form a travel bubble with other countries worldwide, you may want to start looking into getting your new passport or renewing your passport as soon as possible. Many people are looking to get passports right now, and the processing times keep being pushed back. As of June 29, 2021, the current passport processing times can take up to 12 weeks.
Swift is currently able to assist with adult passport renewals and can process visas for select countries. Please contact us before sending in documentation for visas, as requirements and restrictions change frequently. For support with child, lost, or first-time passports, please visit travel.state.gov for further instruction.