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The Impact of COVID-19 on Travel
Written by Arushi Dhingra l Originally published April 8th 2020
Travel is entering a great crisis due to the worldwide crisis and panic of COVID-19. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) does not generally issue advisories or restrictions for travel within the United States. However, cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been reported in all states, and some areas are experiencing community spread of the disease.
Most recently, New York has been the prominent state with the most cases of COVID-19. As a result, the CDC has urged residents of New York as well as the surrounding states of New Jersey and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential travel during the next 14 days. Therefore, 43 states have issued stay-at-home orders greatly affecting the travel industry.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, viruses do not spread easily. Crowded travel settings, like airports, increase the
chances of getting COVID-19 if there are other travelers with the infection.
Therefore, it is quite unlikely to get the disease on planes.
However, the issue occurs once individuals land and are surrounded by other people at the airport. This has caused airplane stocks to nosedive as people are quite nervous. Not only have airplane stocks been affected, but trains, subways, and buses have also observed a significant change. The CDC, as well as local governments, has urged the public to avoid large crowds causing public transport to be at an all-time low.
Also, as of April 3, 2020, 7 million people have filed for unemployment benefits. Over 30% of those individuals use public transportation to get to work, therefore resulting in much fewer people using these means of transportation. This has caused some trains and buses to run on a full week-day schedule with virtually no passengers.
However, officials with the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority), which serves a massive and diverse ridership, have announced they are keeping on a normal schedule because “we realize some people have very few travel options.” “Public transit is an essential service, and it’s important to keep trains and buses running for all Chicagoans who rely on the service,” a CTA spokesperson said Thursday, adding that no service changes are currently planned.
The widespread infections from COVID-19 have raised many questions and concerns about transportation and have greatly shifted worldwide public lifestyle.
“Corona Virus Affecting the Tourism Industry Worldwide.” TravelDailyNews International, www.traveldailynews.com/post/corona-virus-affecting-the-tourism-industry-worldwide.
“Coronavirus (COVID-19): Frequently Asked Questions.” Frequently Asked Questions | Johns Hopkins Medicine, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-frequently-asked-questions.
“Coronavirus and Travel in the United States.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 Mar. 2020, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-in-the-us.html.
Lee, Alicia. “These States Have Implemented Stay-at-Home Orders. Here's What That Means for You.” CNN, Cable News Network, 3 Apr. 2020, www.cnn.com/2020/03/23/us/coronavirus-which-states-stay-at-home-order-trnd/index.html.
Sepeda-Miller, Kiannah, et al. “What the Gov: How Is Coronavirus Affecting Public Transportation?” Better Government Association, 27 Mar. 2020, www.bettergov.org/news/what-the-gov-how-is-coronavirus-affecting-public-transportation/.