More than a year in, Covid travel is a disaster but it doesn’t have to be

Draconian restrictions on international movement are failing to deliver benefits that warrant the costs

08 September 2021 - 19:49 By Lionel Laurent and Sam Fazeli

The surreal nature of international travel in the Covid era was beamed live around the world last weekend. In the opening minutes of a World Cup qualifier in Sao Paulo between Brazil and Argentina, play ground to a halt when public-health officials walked onto the field to remove four Argentine players over an apparent breach of a 14-day quarantine (mandatory for travel via the UK). The game never resumed.

Eighteen months into the pandemic, travel restrictions are still tripping up regular families and firms, not just footballers. A US ban on most travellers from two dozen European countries, instituted by Donald Trump in March of last year, remains in place despite a change of president and a higher proportion of people in the EU and UK being fully vaccinated...

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