Dear bloggers, as you all know, 2020 has been a really tough and challenging year as the whole world is in crisis amidst this outbreak of COVID-19. Though the end-of-year winter festive season will soon be upon us, travel restrictions and border closures imposed by many countries have affected our abilities to travel overseas for getaway purposes. This meant that my family and I would have no chance to travel to Japan this fiscal year, unlike most of the previous years, be it for summer or for winter.
Of course, there is certainly no doubt that I am quite disappointed about the outcome, but amidst this crisis, it would be best not to risk it since we would have to take several COVID-19 PCR tests and spend two weeks in quarantine at designated places in Japan and upon securely returning to Singapore. The mandatory quarantine rules would therefore render the time we could have used to travel wasted, with designated major quarantine prices being rather costly both locally and internationally.
Since the discovery of COVID-19 in Wuhan, Mainland China, at the beginning of the year, the disease has since spread internationally, with Europe and the Americas having the highest numbers of cases. Although the three dominant symptoms include fever, dry coughs and fatigue, many other symptoms, such as shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, are also prevalent in some COVID-19 patients. This crisis even saw several airlines having to cancel most of their regular flights and downsizing their aircraft fleet numbers.
In light of this crisis, many older aircraft and four-engine aircraft, such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747, at high risk. Air France retired its Airbus A380s while British Airways retired its Boeing 747-400s earlier than scheduled, with both the types initially expected to be retired by 2022 and 2024 respectively. It is indeed very sad for aviation fans to learn that both the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747 would be retired from most airlines, but it would be a necessary step to adapt to a post-COVID-19 world, especially with twin-engine aircraft being more fuel-efficient nowadays.
As for me, I can only hope that Japan will gradually reopen its local borders to tourists from spring 2021 without the need to serve a Stay-Home Notice (SHN) and / or quarantine order in Japan and Singapore. However, even the reopening will not be a simple decision owing to the postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and growing concerns that the number of COVID-19 cases may rise. We shall continue to monitor the situation closely and take the required and appropriate actions based on the latest updates provided by the relevant authorities.
Lastly, but definitely not the least, do stay healthy and keep safe during this time. If you must go out, observe all social distancing requirements, wear a mask and avoid spending too much time in public spaces. It is also advisable to have a shower once you reach home to help reduce the risk of infections to yourself and anyone living close to or in the same roof as you. May 2021 be a better year for us all, and may we see hopes that we will be able to go overseas again for leisure.