Reply To: Questions about Disabled travel in the era of COVID-19

  • Josh Grisdale

    October 3, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    Hello Rashaad

    Here in Japan, international travel is non-existent. Japanese nationals have been able to return from foreign countries (if they were abroad when restrictions came into place) with isolation when they came back. However, until very recently, foreign nationals who had entry visas (including those who were already living here and paying rent) could not return if they left. So, foreign tourism is not happening any time soon.

    The government is trying to promote domestic travel with some campaigns that offer discounts on lodgings and vouchers to use at the destination to try and revive the economy.

    Even with that, travel isn’t such a big thing at the moment.

    I haven’t seen any changes or investments for accessibility in particular.

    Social distancing is very hard for those of us who need personal care – the very nature of personal care requires being very close to each other.

    The biggest impact on travel for those of us using personal care is getting carers to go out with us. Some agencies that provide carers don’t want us to go out at all and potentially expose the carer to Covid-19 as they would then take it to other clients (including those with more severe disabilities). Some agencies that are more user-focused (ie they respect the will of the person with the disability as a principle and don’t try to direct their activities) are more open to freely moving about, but do ask us to be responsible. Even though it is not a rule, it makes it awkward to go out, let alone go on vacation.

    So, I feel that accessible tourism may take longer to get going again.

    The positive side is that as virtual tours have become popular, it may be a way for those who have not been able to travel in the past to enjoy new forms of travel.

    Hope this helps!

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