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Covid & Society

By: Julius Lai


Credits: Wix

Restricted Travel

Covid-19 has a significant impact on society. The first one is travel restrictions. A lot of people have been stuck in one place or canceled their holiday trips for the pandemic. “Number one has to be restricted travel. I have not been to the USA since the end of December 2019. Now, even travel in China is also restricted,” Mr. Kennedy shared about his experience. However, Mr. Kennedy has been familiar with Shanghai and understands the city well.

International travel has only recovered four percent in the second year of the pandemic, with one billion fewer arrivals than the pre-pandemic. Sixty-three percent of the experts from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) believe the sector will not fully recover until 2024. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, the global tourism sector had seen almost uninterrupted growth for decades. Since 1980, the number of international arrivals skyrocketed from 277 million to 1.5 billion in 2019. As our chart shows, the two largest crises of the past decades, the SARS epidemic of 2003 and the global budgetary crisis of 2009, were minor bumps in the road compared to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The expats

The majority of people who have been affected in their social life is the expats. If we leave our home country, we will not have a high chance of returning, and you would have to go through quarantine when you get to that place or return home. Mr. Kennedy said that “If we leave China, the chances are high that we would not be able to get back into China, so it is recommended that we stay put.” Close to one in ten (9%) say they have moved or will move home earlier than originally intended due to Covid-19 — though 46% of them also plan to return to their life abroad within the year. Close to one in ten (9%) say they are now planning an international relocation due to Covid-19. Only 6% of the expats said they would move to another country because of the pandemic. Covid-19 affects personal travel (25%), social life (23%), and their work and business (16%).



COVID-19 pandemic: When will the travel sector recover? (2022, February 8). World Economic Forum. Retrieved March 4, 2022, from

Expat Insider 2021: The Impact of COVID-19 on Life Abroad. (n.d.). InterN8ations. Retrieved March 8, 2022, from


(B. Kennedy, email, February 28, 2022)

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