The COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge us all. As new and more transmissible variants emerge, the race is on to vaccinate one and all around the world. Until a sizeable proportion of the global human population is fully vaccinated, economies will remain under tremendous stress, and public health concerns will never really cease.
However, one of the issues that have also been affected by the pandemic, is international pet travel. While the frequently-revised rules of international travel for humans have been well documented, you may not exactly know how the pandemic affected travel for pets.
In this post, we’ll take a look at how COVID-19 presented pet owners with numerous challenges associated with travelling with their pets since the beginning of the pandemic.
1. Fake news and rumours
The biggest initial challenge for pet owners who were due to fly to international destinations was to deal with all the fake news doing the rounds. For instance, there were some claims about domestic animals like dogs and cats being carriers of COVID-19. However, all these claims still stand unsubstantiated, and if you ever come across such false reports on your social media, verify them before you let them affect your pet transport plans.
2. Limited flights for pets
The pandemic has had a significant effect on the number of flights leaving and arriving at each airport. Even major airports of the world, such as Heathrow, saw a drastic reduction in the daily number of departures and arrivals. This meant limited flight options for pets, as humans and general cargo were prioritized. Many airlines just stopped carrying pets, or at least stopped carrying them on many routes. We are seeing more flight options and routes opening, so international pet travel is returning, but capacity is limited.
3. Cancelled flights and delays
As international travel restrictions during the pandemic have been tightened and relaxed frequently, many flights have been cancelled, often at the last minute. Some airlines are offering refunds, but most are offering credits for future bookings. If flights with pets onboard get cancelled, the pets are returned to the boarding facility to await the next available flight, or taken home to the owner, if they are still in the country.
The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t going anywhere soon. So, naturally, the question you’d be asking is, “What now? What’s the best option when it comes to international pet transport?” Well, the ideal thing to do in such uncertain times is to reach out to international pet relocation services. The most reliable pet relocation services can advise on what options are available to you and your pet.