- The Delta variant of COVID-19 has kept the US apprehensive about reopening travel
- While this may keep COVID cases down, the economy is suffering as a result
- The amount of vaccinated individuals is still only around half the population, furthering the risks
Despite other countries, including those in the European Union (which is now allowing citizen to resume entry into the United States) as well as Canada (allowing fully vaccinated United States citizens to enter the country) to permit travel, the United States does not intend on lifting travel restrictions in the near future. This is due to the Delta variant of COVID-19, which has the possibility to still be contracted and spread by those who are vaccinated. This continues to make traveling risky, especially since the United Kingdom has been hit so hard by this variant.
The fallout over this decision is immense; while it will keep COVID cases better in check, the economic toll is formidable. In just one week alone, approximately $1.5 billion dollars is lost due to these travel restrictions. However, this situation does not seem to have a right answer. On one hand, the revenue that is being lost due to the travel bans is horrific. However, the Delta variant is estimated to account for around 80% of COVID cases within the US. With only a little over half of all eligible adults being vaccinated, this statistic is quite concerning considering even those who are vaccinated can still spread the variant. While those with the vaccine are less likely to have their health impacted as much as those who are unvaccinated, the possibility of another outbreak is alarming. Adults in the European also have similar vaccination statistics, meaning half of those who would be traveling would be susceptible to the full effects of the variant. The Delta variant is also causing areas to reinstate mask mandates, begging the question if it is worth the risk to allow travel for the economic benefit.