(CNN) – In the center of Buffalo, New York, crossing the border into Ontario, Canada, it was as easy as driving a mile across the Peace Bridge over the Niagara River. But this is now a forbidden route.
Since the United States has confirmed more cases of corona than anywhere else in the world, with the number increasing in some states every day, U.S. travelers are unlikely to be allowed to do so any time soon.
“The chances of the United States being almost zero,” an EU diplomat told CNN. “With their infection rates … they can’t even believe in this possibility.”
As long as the US-Canada border remains closed, visiting Niagara Falls in Ontario will not be possible for US citizens.
LARS HAGBERG / AFP / AFP / Getty Images
Where does this new world order leave US citizens with a tendency to travel?
Nostalgic for pre-Covid days when a US passport promised access to much of the world? Worried about how they will be perceived – and accepted – by foreign countries when restrictions finally relax?
The future of travel for Americans, and whether they will again be welcomed as tourists, is unclear. in many ways, it is a controversial point as long as travel to certain areas is prohibited.
And for many people, that’s the way it should be.
A road trip to Canada is unlikely to be a summer vacation option for Americans, while the Covid-19 outbreak in the US continues to swell.
Polite offer Via Rail Canada
Colleen Friesen, who lives in a small resort town in British Columbia, hopes the US-Canada border will remain closed.
“The majority of Canadians are against allowing Americans to enter the country due to the unbridled rate of US infection. Although some states seem to be managing the pandemic when we see Oklahoma news allowing an internal rally Our heads “Friesen tells CNN Travel via email.
Stacey McKenna, based in Colorado, is not ready to consider international travel of any kind at the moment, although she says it is partly because the parts on her radar “are extremely economically and geographically vulnerable” and you will not be willing to risk exposing anyone.
“I think if I get to a place where I feel like international (or even air) travel would be appropriate, then I’m going to start wondering if I think I’d be welcome.”
For New York-based travel writer Juliet Izon, who canceled a summer vacation in Italy months ago when there was still a glimmer of hope that things could start again, seeing how the United States compares to other countries is disappointing and depressive.
Izon believes she will make a trip to Italy one day, but says: “I would not be surprised if in some countries if they do not allow the Americans for a while or a really strict quarantine for the next few years”, adding that the handling of Covid-19 from the United States was probably “another black mark against us.”
The other? The state of US politics.
Friesen, who says she appreciates her country’s politicians’ return to the scientific and medical community, fears the way the virus has been “politicized” in the United States.
France is on the verge of resumption, but US citizens are not yet on the list of countries they can visit.
BERTRAND GUAY / AFP via Getty Images
However, an EU diplomat, who spoke to CNN earlier in the week on condition of anonymity, described the US-EU travel decision as “very sensitive” and insisted it was “only about health”.
“Certainly, you can see that you are not on the list as something political, when one country is allowed and another is not, but this is a misrepresentation of what we are doing. We want to open our borders, this is a positive step.”
Despite this statement and the insistence of the EU diplomat that “we want people to come”, the much-changed travel landscape has some stakeholders.
“Instead of thinking about the near future of travel, I’m thinking about how all of this will affect xenophobia in general,” says McKenna.
A holistic experience
Dennis Geronimus, an associate professor and president of art history at New York University, has combined historical business and leisure travel, often in Italy. He is not personally concerned about how he will be received when he travels internationally again – and he is likely to be able to travel to some foreign lands long before other Americans.
This is largely due to the nature of his journey. Geronimus is usually hosted by international colleagues and admits that it is “different from going on vacation somewhere without knowing anyone and then just diving into the culture and seeing the sites and seeing other foreigners on the sites”.
At present, American travelers cannot go to Italy and to cities like Rome (above), at least not for pure leisure trips.
ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP via Getty Images
There are steps Geronimus could take now to allow him access to US leisure travelers, although he would still be subject to quarantine.
In any case, although he would like to see the Raphael exhibition in Rome and work with colleagues in Italy, he does not plan a trip to the region soon.
It may be considered necessary, but Geronimos does not consider it necessary enough. Instead, the professor would prefer to focus on the measures needed to continue on-site classes in New York this fall.
Similarly, McKenna, whose background is in medical anthropology and public health, thinks of other, bigger things: “I’ll be honest. I haven’t even come to the question of whether I think I would be welcome as an American.” are appropriate at this time.
Says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, “We are working with countries around the world, including our friends in Europe and the EU, to determine how it is possible to safely open international travel. It is important for the United States to Europeans to be able to travel back to the United States. “
It’s not about the Americans themselves, says New Zealand’s Elen Turner, although it’s hard to ignore the limitations that affect them along with the number of confirmed deaths and Covid cases.
“I think as soon as the borders are opened properly, New Zealand will be as hospitable to Americans as it is to other travelers,” Turner said.
But Friesen, who is concerned about the handling of the pandemic by the United States, says: “Given the push back on the pandemic protocols we’ve seen in the United States, we just don’t think the Americans will do the right thing.”
While New Zealand may form a travel bubble with Australia, it is unlikely to be allowed to the Americans any time soon.
Courtesy of Shutterstock
However, for so many people he talked to CNN Travel, the health and safety of others – and they are doing the right thing – is sovereign.
Photographer and author Joshua Mellin, based in Chicago, says: “I think traveling internationally for leisure time right now shows a complete lack of care, you deserve what you look at.”
Mellin adds: “I personally think we are all global citizens, but there is still a reality that you do not have access to a foreign country, you are allowed to enter.”
As for the entry of foreigners, Turner would be comfortable receiving suggestions from the New Zealand government. New Zealand returning citizens must be quarantined for two weeks upon arrival and no one else is allowed to enter.
If, in any case, quarantine was applied to all visitors to New Zealand, then what?
“Therefore, if this is extended to all arrivals, then I think the New Zealand would be fine with that, because in general, our government has handled the pandemic well and there is a high degree of confidence in them,” Turner said.
She adds, however, that she does not see this happening, nor does she envision a New Zealand opening itself to strangers until quarantine is no longer necessary.
The idea of quarantine before the holidays is subject to scrutiny anyway.
“We open again”
While mandatory quarantines will deter many travelers, other areas without quarantine in force may be tempting.
U.S. travelers can fly to Mexico, but for many, the risks aren’t worth it. Photo: Parroquia de San Miguell Arcángel in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato.
Whether it’s hotel deals or upgrades or loose cancellation policies, the sweet refrain of “opening up” could possibly start a very dark period in the tourism sector.
For many of the American travelers that CNN Travel spoke to about this story, being welcome or feeling welcome in another country is very important.
The risk of exposure and exposure to looms. And then there’s the fear of getting stuck somewhere far away.
Elizabeth Love, originally from New York State, was found leaving Vietnam in March amid the epidemic and sudden severe travel restrictions. This ordeal and what resulted from the coronation has since made Lavis reluctant to leave home for the foreseeable future.
Writer Melanie Haikan, based in California, would like to go to Costa Rica at some point and look only at places that are impatient for visitors.
Melanie Haiken, a resident of California, expressed her desire to help the financial economy as tourists and is already thinking about her future travels, which include places not so close to home: “When it comes to international travel, I would be ready to I travel again in August, but I want to go to places that are impatient for visitors. I look at Guatemala and Costa Rica, Turkey and Jordan, Scotland, Estonia, and some other places that seem likely to be candidates based on both security as well as how much their economies depend on tourism. “
Turkey seems to be a possible candidate. On June 19, Turkish Airlines resumed two North American routes to Istanbul with two others (Miami and Los Angeles) after June 22 and 24, respectively. By the end of July, three additional US junctions will operate flights to Turkey.
Any travel ban in the EU could change things, but since June 23, when CNN spoke to Caryn B. Davis based in Connecticut about her upcoming trip to the Azores in Portugal, the travel journalist said she plans to continue. , hopefully in the next six weeks.
Pompeo expressed the importance of the economy in travel between the US and the EU, saying “It is important for the United States to give Europeans the ability to return to the United States. It is important, very important for Europeans to fully reconnect with the US economy as well. . “
However, until security concerns can be adequately addressed, Melin does not believe that anyone, a U.S. citizen or not, should go anywhere.
“There is a responsibility to show respect to other people and places as a traveler who starts at home and is inherently broken by visiting another country during a global pandemic.”
In reality, however, international travel may resume earlier and not later in some outlying areas. “I am confident that in the coming weeks we will understand this not only between the United States and the European Union, but also between the United States and other parts of the world,” Pompeo said.
What will it be?
“I think if something, when we travel, is definitely my hope to bring that feeling, I guess, of empathy to wherever we go …” says Geronimus.
CNN’s James Frater, Michael Conte and Luke McGee contributed to this story.