A new report
from the Migration Policy Institute, written with support from the International Organization for Migration, lays out four possible future scenarios for global mobility in a post-pandemic world.
In Scenario 1 (Pandemic Proofing), the pandemic will become “a 9/11 moment for borders and mobility, with public health decisively shaping decisions on whom to let into a country in much the same way as security considerations did in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.”
In Scenario 2 (Mobility with Friends), global cooperation remains an elusive goal, while regional travel “bubbles” become the norm.
In Scenario 3 (Chaos and Fragmentation), nation-states continue to experiment with unilateral approaches but little progress is made on reaching global standards and procedures resulting in continued clogged mobility channels.
In Scenario 4 (Pre-Pandemic Status Quo), as the pandemic fizzles out (hopefully by 2023), governments seek to derive benefit from fully opening up to international tourists and migrants, yet lingering concerns about future pandemics continue to cast a shadow.
The author goes into detail on each of these outcomes, including the pros and cons of an internationally recognized vaccination certificate. She concludes, “COVID-19 has been a wake-up call for governments on the importance of having clear and well-thought-out systems to adapt to the outbreak and spread of disease.” In developing these systems, however, governments should resist the political temptation to use migrants as scapegoats in future health crises.