As a second pandemic summer comes to a close, it’s clear that the global travel industry found 2021 mildly easier than 2020. That said, the analysis on travel bans show that just as many are currently in place around the world as a year ago and it will be a long time before they are gone.

The U.S. is still witnessing some impressive milestones, both good and bad:

  • The New York Times reported that the U.S. had surpassed 40 million reported cases of Covid-19 since its tracking started; the same number of people as the population of California.
  • As of September 4, there are now–on average–more than 1,500 deaths a day for the first time since March, a figure that has quintupled since the beginning of August (but well under the peak levels seen last winter).
  • Whilst the U.S. reached the milestone of having 70% of adults vaccinated by August, the state-by-state picture shows that 21 states are still slightly below this figure–West Virginia, Wyoming, Mississippi and Idaho are the furthest away, at around 60%.

And this means a mixed bag for travel. Many states are now bringing back certain restrictions for public spaces and workforces, and some are implementing state-wide mask mandates. Plus a handful of states still have state-wide travel restrictions in place. It could be worse, although undoubtedly many in the industry were hoping that the U.S. would have rescinded its travel ban on EU and U.K. arrivals by now–all eyes are now on Thanksgiving or worse, Christmas.

The Telegraph offers a state-by-state guide to mask mandates, which varies wildly across the country. In Washington DC, for instance, everyone must wear masks inside public places, regardless of vaccination status. At the other extreme, the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has banned individual cities/counties from implementing new mask-wearing and counter-virus measures (some of the busiest places are strongly advising that people do, however).

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