For better or for worse, it seems that the future of travel is going to increasingly depend on whether or not travelers are vaccinated, following the advent of vaccine passports and travel passes created by various countries and organizations. However, it is far from a sure thing, as some in the medical and governmental spheres warn that even the inoculated should not travel yet.
British Airways, one of the world’s largest airlines feels differently, and has this week pleaded for the vaccinated to be able to travel without restrictions. Here’s more on what they said, as well as a look at the arguments against widespread vaccinated travel.
Let Vaccinated Travel – British Airways’ Appeal
From small tourism-orientated businesses to huge, global airlines, the effects of the pandemic have been wide-reach and severe for all in the travel industry. With hundreds of millions of pounds lost, and some 10,000 employees laid off, it’s fair to say that the pandemic has been tough on British Airways, too. However, due to the rising rates of vaccination around the world, some in the company feel that their fortunes could be about to be reversed.
Sean Doyle, BA’s Chief Executive, has called on the power that be to allow those who have had the vaccine to be able to travel without restrictions. Speaking on the matter, he said:
“I think people who’ve been vaccinated should be able to travel without restriction. Those who have not been vaccinated should be able to travel with a negative test result”
Doyle’s warmly-received comments will undoubtedly put pressure on the British government, who will be meeting in April to announce how and when non-essential travel in and out of the country will be able to resume. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had previously announced that holidays for UK travelers will not be able to resume until May 17th at the earliest.
The vaccine-related freedoms currently being called for by British Airways are already in operation in many destinations. The likes of Iceland, Poland, the Seychelles and several other countries around the world currently allow vaccinated travelers to visit without having to quarantine.
Not Everyone Agrees
Whilst it may be a view shared by travelers, not everyone agrees that vaccinated travelers should be allowed to travel freely. The CDC has doubled-down on its anti-travel stance, even for travelers that have been inoculated. According to the CDC, there are several activities that the vaccinated can safely take part in – such as meeting other vaccinated people or visiting low-risk people from a single household without having to wear a mask or socially distance themselves – but travel remains unadvised by the department. However, the CDC has stated it will review the guidelines once further scientific data is revealed on the aftermath of vaccination.
The CDC’s refusal to permit the vaccinated to travel has been challenged by the aviation industry. Airlines for America raised the fact that the risk of catching Covid-19 on a flight was incredibly low due to the air filtration systems on aircrafts and the high hygiene standards in operation. Airlines for America also reached the headlines earlier in the year when it challenged the idea of introducing mandatory testing for domestic flights, a debate that the group eventually won as the idea never became policy.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories