Travelers who hold COVID-19 antibodies should be incentivized or at least not penalized by current COVID-19 standards.
Some destinations require COVID-19 negative tests but according to studies on antibodies, negative results are less necessary, especially in the first few months. For example, a negative test result is required days before leaving the US mainland to Hawaii, but visitors to the Big Island of Hawaii have to take and pass another test at arrival to show they didn’t contract the virus since their last test. Other countries have rigorous testing standards too, even New York will require a negative test to enter the state.
For the purpose of this post, let’s assume for a moment that the antibody studies are flawless and accurate as stated. A business person should be able to present an antibody test and not be required to demonstrate their immunity again for a period of at least three months (the shortest listed study.) Even for leisure, the traveler should be able to travel as they wish as they are not a threat to themselves nor others.
Countries like Cambodia, which require an upfront deposit to offset potential medical costs, or countries like Thailand that require onerous COVID-19 medical insurance should be waived with the presence of antibodies.
Travel requirements are in constant flux (see Hawaii, Costa Rica, or Jamaica for example), now more than ever is a good time to utilize a travel agency.
During the course of the year, speculation of how insurance companies will treat recovered COVID-19 patients has ranged from logical to insane. If the insured doesn’t experience extended adverse health effects, insurance companies should provide lower (not higher) costs to their customers. They have virtually no risk of reinfection (according to the above antibody study) which reduces the potential future financial risk for the insurance companies. Infected but recovered COVID-19 patients should pay less for coverage.
The same should apply to those countries that do not have an antibody waiver. If the insurance plans are essentially a plan to overcome absurd odds, insurance companies should incentivize antibody travelers to take on the required policies at a lower rate as they are lower risk. This may encourage those who are safe to travel to do so.
Destinations Should Want Safer Travelers
It’s important to be careful about who a country does and does not allow entry to defend its citizenry. Attracting travelers that pose little to no risk to a country’s people can help those economies recover in a safe and meaningful way. The entire world has been cooped up for 2020 and everyone – absolutely everyone – needs a vacation right now. Bringing travelers for some communities is essential. The safest way to do that appears to be through antibody tests. Not only due they pose no risk to the people of those destinations but they also pose no risk to themselves avoiding crowding hospitals.
Some economies desperately need to return travelers to their shores. Those who are of the lowest risk factor, and can demonstrate that they pose little risk should be sought after. Additionally, travelers who have a one in ten million chance of getting sick should be offered insurance at a lower cost than the general public. Concurrently, countries that require COVID-19 specific insurance should waive such requirements for those with antibodies.
What do you think? Should destinations compete for travelers with antibodies? Should there be waivers for insurance requirements?