Current testing and quarantine restrictions are unlikely to be lifted even amid the vaccine rollout, according to a Cirum analysis published by Flight Global.

The travel analytics company cites Thailand as an example of where authorities are taking a more cautious approach. 

The Southeast Asian nation currently admits long-stay visitors, who are subject to a two-week quarantine and strict testing regime.

Thai authorities, in defence of the status quo, have reportedly pointed to the lack of evidence that Covid-19 vaccines can fully eliminate transmissions.

Earlier this month, US chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci confirmed that vaccines, while effective at preventing illness associated with Covid-19, could still lead to transmission to other individuals.

Australia and Singapore also expect border restrictions to remain in place throughout 2021, even after local populations are vaccinated. Restrictions could be lifted depending on other countries’ progress.

Cirum believes recovery in Asia-Pacific will be more complex than other regions.

“Compared to single markets like Europe and US, Asia-Pacific has a more fragmented market where international travel recovery would be slow given the unparalleled approach taken at different countries to control the risk from travel,” said Joanna Lu, head of consultancy Asia at Cirium. 

“Travel bubbles could be established, but that would have limited impact overall. Domestic travel would still be the driver for a period of time.”