Will the Covid-19 vaccination be mandatory for International travel?

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As Covid-19 vaccinations roll out around the globe, citizens from each and every country on each and every continent are filled with a wide range of emotions. Some are excited while others are fearful. In fact, the diversity of emotions gripping humankind on this issue is a testament to the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic.

Now I am not going to tell you if you should or should not get the vaccination. Why? because I simply do not have the answer, only a personal opinion. What I do know though, is that citizens of the world who decide not to get vaccinated, should not be discriminated against. But there is a very real possibility that this is exactly what will happen! Fortunately, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) feels the same way.

The WTTC on Monday said mandatory inoculations would be discriminatory, following suggestions by lawmakers and at least one airline that a coronavirus vaccination might become a prerequisite for international travel.

The organization’s head called for global prioritization of “vulnerable groups,” in a Reuters panel discussion where health experts have shared a long path to global herd immunity and admonished those proposing future vaccine criteria for a return to travel.

“We should never require the vaccination to get a job or to travel,” WTTC chief executive Gloria Guevara said in the Reuters video panel. “If you require the vaccination before travel, that takes us to discrimination.”

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said in November that once the vaccines are widely available, the Australian airline will likely need verification of vaccination in order to fly. Guevara stated that she “disagree[s] with the approach from Qantas.”

The council is part of a rising chorus of travel voices stating that a return to travel will come before vaccinations produce global herd immunity. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has also called for a global testing policy to replace quarantines and restart travel now, and America’s largest airlines lobbied the White House in the United States last week to enact that strategy.

The WTTC called for testing to replace quarantines worldwide in a Friday statement on its website, and confirmed that its position “supports measures designed to curb COVID-19 and protect public health but calls for the complete removal of unnecessary quarantines.”

Dale Fisher, chairman of the WHO Global Outbreak Warning and Response Network, said on the Reuters video panel that global herd immunity is not likely to occur in 2021, even though it can be achieved by some nations this year.

“We know we need to get to herd immunity and we need that in a majority of countries, so we are not going to see that in 2021. There might be some countries that might achieve it, but even then that will not create ‘normal’ especially in terms of border controls,” Fisher said.

“We won’t get back to normal quickly.”

Original Source: www.iol.co.za written by Shannon McMahon

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