We see it and hear it everywhere, “stay at home”, “wear a facemask”, “wash those hands”, “physical distancing”. Now, we are protecting ourselves to stay at home while also helping the people and even the world to recover…

The covid19 outbreak changed our path of life. In order to prevent the virus transmission, people are encouraged to be substituted to stay at home, doing an isolation. School, work and any other activity must be done at home. Nearly all countries urge their people to not leave the house if not an emergency case. However, there are indeed some of them who has to go out for work which can’t be done from home.

Though it is a must to obey this new health protocol, we couldn’t fool ourselves that we are bored to death. Even a super-introvert needs to go out to socialize with their anti-social-social club. Before, travelling is like a religion, meaning something that tie you up, represents you, and live with you. Besides, the fact about a long quarantine effects a negative impact to country’s economy even makes it worst. Especially, tourism, which known to be the most suffered sector in this situation.

Whilst the covid-19 pandemic is still engulfing, several countries have adopted a new way which is expected stimulates the economy, namely new normal. The people began their activities again and implemented health protocols like wearing face masks, physical distancing, and maintain cleanliness. Gradually, tourism is slowly being revived. Some countries have developed some new rules, starting from the preparing the new protocols of transportation, the requirements that has to be done before travel, and also a new corridor to get abroad, which is called travel bubble.

Wait, what is travel bubble anyway?

According to Forbes, travel bubble is increasingly in demand by several countries to restart cross-country travel in this pandemic situation. Besides Australia and New Zealand, there are also Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania who are planning to do a travel bubble. In fact, Indonesia also plans to open a travel bubble with four countries; China, South Korea, Japan and Australia. So, what is a travel bubble that is now being looked at by several countries in the world?

Briefly, travel bubble is an agreement between two or more countries, which had successfully control the covid-19, to create a bubble or travel corridor. This bubble will make it easier for residents who live in it to travel freely, and avoid the obligation of independent quarantine. This step will make it easier for communities to cross borders with minimum complexity. Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said through a statement that the travel bubble was an opportunity for businesses to be reopened.

Travel bubble is a light of hope for people that life will return to normal. According to VOA News, travel bubble gives a sense of security, and could show whether it is safe to depart or return. However, according to experts, this idea is also a challenge for many countries to control the covid-19 outbreak. For example, the government of a country will prepare contact tracing for people who are sick when they arrive from abroad to stop the outbreak of a larger population.

Senior Associate Professor of Politics and International Studies at the International Christian University in Tokyo, Stephen Nagy, said in VOA News that all countries in the travel bubble will need a safety zone that is set up, and the traveller might be increase, so they have to look and monitoring at the last three or four destinations. Meanwhile, The Chief Executive of Aotearoa Tourism Industry, Chris Roberts, said, the travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand, for example, might become a reference for the whole world.

Nevertheless, Australia and New Zealand are the same as other countries; be careful to not step forward too fast, in order to prevent the second wave of the virus. If it’s too fast, then it will endanger the country’s image for international tourists who see them as a clean and trusted country. Still, the Executive Director of the Australian Tourism Industry Board, Simon Westaway, and Roberts remain hopeful. If it is considered applicable in Australia and New Zealand, it can also be applied elsewhere. The two countries have attracted world attention because they succeeded in preparing for the spread of the plague. Roberts said, if they can also find ways to revive travel between countries, they are sure the whole world will be interested to see how it works.

But, we might not forget about the flights. We take a look the low-cost airline Singapore Airlines subsidiary, Scoot, for example. They implemented a number of measures to safeguard the health of passengers and crew as several flights and transit resumed at Singapore Changi Airport from June 2020. Like it or not, airlines have to adapt to the new normal Corona virus pandemic. Scoot will improve its operational procedures and introduce additional preventative measures so that passengers can fly more comfortably.

When some airlines start operating again, they work with regulators and health experts to implement a comprehensive set of steps to ensure the highest possible cleanliness standards, and to give passengers the confidence that they can fly safely with Scoot. Some of the new rules is food and drinks are not available for purchase online and on flights, food will be provided first in the seat if possible. Duty-free shopping on flights is also not available.

On the other hand, there are standard protocols that must be obeyed by passengers and flight service providers, from before to after the flight. This protocol applies to all destinations, including Bali.

  1. Pre-flight
  2. The airlines are obliged to socialize the provisions and procedures for passenger, during the period of productive and safe community activities from COVID-19, in accordance with applicable health protocols.
  3. Prospective passengers must meet all the health protocols and submit the health declaration form, according to requirements issued by the ministry of health;
  • Showing a PCR test certificate with a negative result that is valid for 7 days or a Rapid Test certificate with a non-reactive result that is valid for 3 days at the time of departure.
  • Shows a symptom-free certificate such as influenza issued by the Hospital Doctor or primary health-care for areas that do not have PCR Test or Rapid Test facilities.
  1. The ticket purchasing system must be able to ensure compliance with the requirements of health documents, according to the applicable health protocols, both online and offline. Especially for offline ticket purchasing, prospective passengers are also required to use masks and maintain physical distance with others.
  2. The airlines are required to verify health documents and only issue the tickets only if the passenger meets the requirements.
  3. Ticket reporting before approval (check-in) with the following conditions:
  • Passengers must arrive at the airport 4 hours before the departure time, bringing all health documents and other requirements issued by the authorized agency.
  • Passengers should prioritize the electronic check-in process (online), through the website or the self-check-in counter at the airport.
  • Passengers are required to use a face mask and follow all inspection procedures in accordance with applicable health protocols.
  • For passengers who do not meet the health protocol terms and conditions, the airlines must refuse the passenger to depart.
  1. The process of boarding an aircraft (boarding), with the following conditions:
  • While waiting for boarding, it is required for passengers to occupy the seats provided, while wearing masks and maintaining physical distance from others.
  • Passengers are required to follow all instructions given by the airlines.
  • It is required to ensured and maintain physical distance during the boarding process using the passenger stairs.
  • The cabin crew must arrange the passengers inside the Apron Passenger Bus (APB) to get to the airplane, while still apply physical distancing.
  1. In-flight
  • Hand sanitizer or liquid soap and tissue in the lavatory.
  • Passengers and flight attendant must always wear a mask while in the plane.
  • Passengers are required to occupy the seat according to the number listed on the boarding pass and are not allowed to change the seat.
  • Passengers must reduce interaction or physical contact with fellow passengers, or cabin crew during the flight.
  • The ticket purchasing system must be able to ensure compliance with the requirements of health documents, according to the applicable health protocols, both online and offline. Especially for offline ticket purchasing, prospective passengers are also required to use masks and maintain physical distance with others.
  1. Post-flight

The process of getting off the plane is done with the following conditions:

  • The flight crew must arrange the process of getting off passengers, so that they always maintain physical distancing.
  • If the getting off process does not use the passenger stairs, it must be carried out while maintain physical distancing.
  • The airlines must arrange for passengers inside the Apron Passenger Bus (APB) to arrive at the arrival terminal to maintain physical distancing.
  1. Transit or transfer process
  • Airlines must provide officers in the transit area, to serve and give direction to passengers, and ensure health protocols are implemented properly.
  • Passengers who are in transit may only be directed to the departure room, after ensuring all travel documents and medical documents are in accordance with the regulations at the destination airport.
  1. Medical check-up process upon arrival
  • Arriving passengers must be checked for body temperature and also the completeness of health documents in accordance with applicable health protocols.
  • Passengers who do not meet the requirements will be followed up in accordance with the provisions that have been set.
  1. Baggage claim
  • Passengers are allowed to collect baggage after completed the medical check-up process.
  • Airlines must ensure physical distance is maintained in the baggage claim area.
  • All passengers are required to use a face mask.

Those are the various provisions and health protocols, if you want to travel by plane during the new normal era. Make sure you understand each of the rules and implement them!

And… What would traveling be like in The New Normal?

Experts predict there will be changes in the tourism industry. Travelers must be ready to adapt to changes that affect habits to trends. Here is what we could predict.

Short distance travel is preferred

There will be a rise of travellers who want to go somewhere not too far away. A simple and short-range vacation, like a staycation will be popular.

Non-mainstream places

The period of stay at home can be used by people to prepare more carefully for the upcoming travel plans. People will choose a tourist destination that is different from their previous expectations. They would prefer a place that are still quiet.

A stricter safety and medical examination

Security checks evolve over the time. Before, the airplane’s security checks were far laxer. But when there is a change, there is a period of adaptation, but after that people will become accustomed and consider it normal. In the future, health and safety checks will be tighter. Initially, people may feel confused when adapting, but sooner or later, everything will feel normal. The healthcare and travel industry will be very close, there will be many new standards in terms of cleanliness.on

Price increases

Increasing hygiene standards in ensuring the safety and comfort could impact to an expensive price. For example, in a hotel, people might be concerned about cleanliness and there will be new standards so that customers feel safe, but the impact is surely on the price. Costs incurred to meet health and safety standards in the new normal era have an impact on the decision to raise the price for tourism products. Sadly, there will be many people who can’t afford it, but in general it will be healthier for tourism industry since people will prefer something safe, even though it’s not cheap. Airplane ticket could also be pricey because they have to reduce passenger capacity for safety.

So, are you prepared? We are very sure that we could overcome this situation, and hoping to be back to “normal” again. As always, stay healthy, folks!

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