We must not ignore the ease of going elsewhere

Source: Live Mint

Relevance: Pandemic & Tourism, Freedom of movement

Synopsis: The way easing how business is done is important similarly easing the cabin fever that covid restraints have given also need attention.


Most of us are now free to move around locally, but the radius of our freedom does not extend all that far. Going out of town is an exercise in confusion due to complexities involved in travelling across a border.

Restriction on freedom of movement

Pandemic period has seen a number of restrictions being imposed on freedom of movement

  • First, Indian states and Union territories still demand negative covid-test results even of the fully-vaccinated for entry. For instance, some states like West Bengal still insist on test proof.
  • Second, flying overseas is still held back.
    • Some countries aimed to keep out tourists from places deemed high-risk, like India.
    • For instance, many US college campuses asking for vax certificates of vaccines approved by the World Health Organization or US Food and Drug Administration.
  • Third, strict entry and quarantine requirements.
    • Popular holiday picks in the east such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia have stricter norms.
    • India recently had a disagreement with the EU over its refusal to recognize Covishield as a version of a vaccine already approved for its vax passport scheme.

However, things are changing in some countries;

Barriers are slowly being lowered. Switzerland and the UK citizens are raring to go abroad for a break. Switzerland in competition with the UK for those enthusiastic to go abroad for a break. This rush was set off by London’s change in rules. Now it is clear that demand for holidays is ready to explode.

Way forward

There is need for global talks to come up with globally-acceptable framework of norms for ease of going elsewhere.

  • We can create an ‘ease of going elsewhere’ index. Its starting base can be set on 1 April 2020, right after the pandemic first placed us under house arrest.
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