Coronavirus: How to Reopen Travel Safely

Which Citizens Should Countries Allow In? Under What Conditions?

Tomas Pueyo


Our previous articles, Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now, The Hammer and the Dance, Out of Many, One, and many others have gathered over 60 million views together and have been translated into over 40 languages. Translations at the bottom. New translations welcome. To receive the next installments and articles, sign up here.

Article summary: The current plans to reopen EU countries are too blunt. Citizens from different countries are either blocked or fully allowed to travel. This will result in new outbreaks. Instead, there should be tiers of countries based on best guesses on prevalence and value per visitor. Within that, higher value visitors such as those owning a home should be treated differently. There is no excuse for lack of PCR tests. European countries with special situations, such as Sweden, Portugal or the UK should be treated separately.

The European Union is opening up its borders on July 1st. But not to everybody. The US, Russia and Brazil seem to belong to a long list of countries banned from travel. European officials are working against the clock to propose rules for the international reopening. How are they thinking about it?Is there anything else they should consider? But before that, we should wonder: How important is it to get this right?

How Important Is It to Get Travel Restrictions Right?

A lot.

This chart, from Coronavirus: Learning How to Dance, shows how a few infections coming from abroad—in blue—caused the outsized outbreak they’ve been fighting ever since.

The same thing happened in Argentina.

The blue area was the imported cases that caused the outbreak that has raged out of control ever since. For context, these were around 800 cases over a full month.

A few hundreds of seeds can be enough to cause massive outbreaks. Is the EU plan making sure this doesn’t happen again?



Tomas Pueyo

2 MSc in Engineering. Stanford MBA. Ex-Consultant. Creator of applications with >20M users. Currently leading a billion-dollar business @ Course Hero