What is our stance on questions on airlines/governments' activities/policies pertaining to COVID-19? On-topic or off-topic as too ephemeral ("the answer may change many times as airlines/governments work out what is needed."?

I'm asking as I see such questions being treated differently. E.g.:

  • Each question is independent of all others here. Each one gets seen by different people and at different times and decisions are made on a one by one bases. Some that should have been closed may remain open, others are closed while they should have remained open. What happens to other questions is no reason for whatever to happen to your question.
    – Willeke Mod
    Mar 15, 2020 at 13:18
  • 3
    @Willeke I disagree. We need a more consistent policy. Currently it looks like you are closing questions randomly. Mar 15, 2020 at 13:19
  • You best ask that at the Meta site for all Stack Exchange sites, as this is how it works site wide. I do not close all questions I see which are iffy, but I do also not go back on my decisions if others seem to agree with me.
    – Willeke Mod
    Mar 15, 2020 at 13:20
  • 2
    @Willeke No, each SE website is responsible to have a decently consistent policy. I have nothing ask to the Meta SE site, since the issue is you and sometime some other travel users. Mar 15, 2020 at 13:20
  • If you can get two votes to re-open besides your own, I am happy to re-open for you. But so far your question got only one re-open vote and my 'I vote to close this question' comment got three upvotes, so I see that as no reason to re-open.
    – Willeke Mod
    Mar 15, 2020 at 13:25
  • 2
    @Willeke A question needs 5 close votes to be closed. It is because of your close vote that it got closed. Not to mention that more people are allowed upvote comment than closing questions, so having 3 upvotes on your comments doesn't mean they would have been 3 close votes. Mar 15, 2020 at 13:28
  • I have asked the other mods to chime in on this. Till they have done, I am going to stop this conversation.
    – Willeke Mod
    Mar 15, 2020 at 13:29
  • The percentage one - doesn't seem to be a travel question, just a stats question? What's the actual problem you face?
    – Mark Mayo
    Mar 15, 2020 at 20:15
  • @MarkMayo the actual question that is how easy it is to fly out from manila to another country despite the lockdown. But if I use the term how easy, people will close vote as opinion-based. Also there are a number of percentage questions on this website, so I'd be interested to know: What is our stance on questions asking for a percentage related to traveling? On-topic or off-topic as being a statistical question? Mar 15, 2020 at 23:42
  • Waiting on @phoog to chime in (travel.stackexchange.com/questions/154956/…
    – CGCampbell
    Mar 18, 2020 at 14:10

1 Answer 1


Our stance should be based on a combination of the existing Travel.SE rules and common sense. In addition, the Covid-19 situation is so fresh, rapidly-evolving, unclear that it would be impossible to pose quality questions and produce quality answers on the topic: the regulations of today will be obsolete tomorrow, the unaffected countries today will most likely not stay unaffected tomorrow, etc. Finally, our role in these troubled times should be to echo the governmental policies and regulations, because we are all law-abiding citizens and dare not misguide fellow Travellers.

Most probably, our best bet would be to create high-quality canonical Q/A posts, maybe split by geographical region, in which we list the relevant governmental websites providing all the information required. The rest is mere speculation, and/or gambling with people's lives. Want to know if you can travel from US to Italy? Have a read at what the US and Italian governmental websites have to say about it. They make the rules, they decide.

Therefore, from now on we will keep well-posed, high-quality, general-purpose, informative questions about Covid-19 open. However we will close all ill-posed, low-quality, narrow-purpose, outdated-soon-after-being-asked questions about Covid-19. We will not draft a list of sample questions that are acceptable because it would be impossible to cover all possible cases.

All fellow Travellers wishing to help in the effort of creating high-quality, information-gathering canonical Q/A posts are welcome to join us. We've already started here:

Where can we find frequently updated details about travel/entry restrictions due to Coronavirus (nCoV-19)?

  • "we will close all ill-posed, low-quality, narrow-purpose, outdated-soon-after-being-asked questions about Covid-19": how do you define "soon"? Mar 18, 2020 at 16:33
  • @FranckDernoncourt At the rate at which the situation is evolving, every question is outdated at best within 24h. At worst instantaneously. Soon gives us wiggle room. It is a way of saying: please do not ask bad-quality questions on long-lasting rapidly changing events. They are, by definition, off-topic on Travel.SE. And you know it.
    – JoErNanO Mod
    Mar 18, 2020 at 16:45
  • Thanks, sorry I'm confused: would a good-quality question on covid-19 be on-topic or off-topic? Mar 18, 2020 at 18:41
  • @FranckDernoncourt on topic, provided it also meets all the terms above and in the help center. By 'soon', people asking 'can I still fly on March 19th on JQ225 from AKL to CHC ' is too narrow, lacks research, out of date fast, and too specific to one person or 'is Rome safe from Coronavirus now' - easily changes on a daily basis (at present from bad to worse). We can tag posts as related to a rapidly changing event, but instead of 200 factorial questions of 'can I still fly from country x to country y' questions, let's try making bigger, canonical questions instead (like the one linked above)
    – Mark Mayo
    Mar 18, 2020 at 18:52
  • @MarkMayo Hmm am I correct that "soon" doesn't seem to be the issue and that instead the issue is too narrow? Also, from your comment, most questions on travel.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/covid-19-virus should be closed and replaced by a small set of broad wiki questions. Mar 18, 2020 at 19:05
  • @FranckDernoncourt it's a community site, this is a meta question. Happy for you to suggest otherwise, but that's what we're suggesting. The community also has close/reopen votes!
    – Mark Mayo
    Mar 18, 2020 at 19:23
  • @MarkMayo I agree that this is a community site, this is why I don't understand that the question was closed just with 1 vote from 1 mod. Doesn't sound like a community decision to me. Mar 19, 2020 at 1:55
  • 1
    You're jumping from topic to topic. I addressed your 'soon' part and you pivot to something else. Makes it hard to tell what you're actually trying to understand.
    – Mark Mayo
    Mar 19, 2020 at 2:24
  • @MarkMayo I see. Your previous comment wasn't clear to me and I didn't realize you were addressing "soon". I don't see the answer to my question "am I correct that "soon" doesn't seem to be the issue and that instead the issue is too narrow?" I feel nobody is trying to clearly define what soon means, and instead use it a pretext to close questions at will when people feel like it. Mar 19, 2020 at 11:52

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .