India-Bahrain likely to have ‘travel bubbles’ – What is it?

Coronavirus has changed the way of living; almost everything around us has changed since the COVID-19 outbreak. Similarly, we keep listening and reading the term air bubbles, travel bubble or bi-lateral bubble on a daily basis. So let’s understand what the travel bubble actually is, and how is it important in the current scenario.

India is negotiating with Bahrain and 12 other countries to establish separate air bubble arrangements for international flight operations. The ongoing negotiations will benefit stranded Indians and nationals of these countries.

What is an air/travel bubble?

Travel bubble, also known as travel bridges, bi-lateral bubble or corona corridors, is a kind of travel arrangement that allows citizens of select countries to travel to other countries. With travel bubbles, the waiting period for travellers coming from countries where the virus has been contained goes away. But the two countries need to have confidence and trust in each other to establish such travel arrangements.

An Oxford University researcher explains the term like this, “In a ‘travel bubble’ a set of countries agree to open their borders to each other, but keep borders to all other countries closed. So people can move freely within the bubble, but cannot enter from the outside. The idea is to allow people additional freedom without causing additional harm.”

Example of a travel corridor

As per a study conducted by Oxford University, the right time to establish a corona corridor is when the two countries have contained the virus or “have no more cases”. The first example of the travel bubble was seen between Australia and New Zealand.

Benefits of a travel bubble

Establishing a travel bubble between two or more countries is always beneficial as it can directly boost the travel and tourism and hospitality industries of the concerned countries. A travel bubble is especially beneficial to the worst affected countries.

Source: Times Travel