Riskline reveals top travel risks for 2021

While there is hope that some parts of the world will see the end of the pandemic this year, its effects will continue to be felt in 2021 and beyond’, said Adam Schrader, Director of Operations at Riskline.

In late 2019, even as Riskline analysts around the world were forecasting the potential for an outbreak of infectious disease in the coming year, we could not have predicted the manifold ways in which a novel pandemic would affect our lives, our work and the world more broadly. Even the most thorough assessment of a future pandemic could not have anticipated the consequences of the decisions made by so many governments, public health officials and individuals last year said Adam Schrader, Director of Operations at Riskline looks back at the huge impact on COVID-19 in 2020.

Looking ahead to the trends set to shape 2021, particularly the international travel sector, Adam continues.While there is hope that some parts of the world will see the end of the pandemic this year, its effects will continue to be felt in 2021 and beyond. It’s not yet clear the extent of the damage to healthcare systems or how long it will take them and critically their workforce to recover. Nor is it known the long-term effects on populations that were denied or postponed critical care or vaccinations for other deadly diseases. What’s likely to be with us well into the future is the accompanying ‘infodemic’ that virus of misinformation that often overwhelms sound public health messaging.

These and other key trends for the year ahead have been researched by Riskline’s team of analysts in more than 15 countries and across 11 different time zones. The global team monitor the world’s political crises, security developments, and travel news every hour of every day – all aimed at helping to keep travellers safe and managers informed.  

Continued impact of COVID-19 on global travel
Even as the global travel industry gradually recovers from the absolute standstill that it experienced through most of 2020, the pandemic’s disruptive and ever-changing effect on the travel ecosystem will certainly continue this year. The desire for countries to limit exposure to COVID-19 will put pressure on travellers to obtain mandatory documentation relating to insurance, testing, pre-approved accommodation and, eventually, vaccination, prior to travel, which imposes additional cost burdens on travellers. Entry and exit restrictions imposed by governments or their assessment of the COVID-19 situation in a traveller's country of origin change at short notice, further complicating global travel. Travellers in most countries should continue to expect measures such as health screening, quarantine and testing, socially distanced seating arrangements and contactless check-ins or transactions at airports, major public transport hubs, hotels and other facilities. Expect renewed lockdowns in high-risk areas and a reduction in capacity for transportation services of all kinds to be the new norm in 2021.