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International Travel Can Safely Restart Without Vaccines Says WTTC

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The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has recently released a press release calling for the instant reinstatement of international travel without the requirement of vaccinations. 

WTTC, the global representative of the Travel and Tourism private sector, has allied with key industry players, Airports Council International (ACI), World Economic Forum (WEF), and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to denounce the dependency of vaccinations as a prerequisite to resume international travel operations.

plane above Manhattan

According to the alliance, effective testing methods paired with strenuous hygiene protocols are sufficient in safely recommencing worldwide travel.

Although WTTC acknowledges the value of the vaccines, they believe that waiting for supply to become readily available will only derail the recovery of international travel.

In this regard, the WTTC simply believes that the resumption of travel should not be predicated on the arrival of the vaccine, but rather, due diligence and enhanced practices are enough to revive travel.

tourists in London

WTTC President & CEO, Gloria Guevara stated:

“Safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines will be critical to combatting COVID-19 and restoring confidence for people to interact with one another. However, it will take considerable time to vaccinate the world and for the vaccine to have a significant effect on the global population, and the global Travel & Tourism sector simply cannot wait.”

As threats handed by the Covid-19 pandemic continue to destabilize the global travel sector, WTTC cautions the currently developing health passports to pose a further delay to the stimulation of the sector and rather advocates internationally recognized travel passes. 

Recent data from WTTC shows a startling 174 million jobs in global travel and tourism are now at risk. The council calls for prompt action to save the sector and re-establish the freedom to travel to the masses.

covid passport

Four Key Measures To Safely Restore International Travel

In collaboration with ACI, WEF, and ICC, WTTC has noted four key measures as a foundation to the resurgence of international travel. The alliance encourages a global consensus in adopting these measures to collectively restore the global travel economy. 

1. Globally recognized testing regime on departure – Efficient and cost-effective testing of international merit implemented upon departure to restrain virus transmission

2. Common health and hygiene protocols – Advanced health and hygiene practices, essentially WTTC Safe Travels Protocols as standard safety procedure

safety measures on airplane

3. Risk management regime – All governments to execute common policy of risk management in accordance with current guidelines outlined by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce (CART), and European Union Aviation Safety Agency and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (EASA/ECDC).

Said guidelines are contrary to currently adopted prevention protocols such as 14-day quarantines which have halted business and leisure travel.

passengers plane mask

4. Travel passes – Vaccines to compliment digital travel passes, such as CommonPass, AOK Pass and IATA Travel Pass which verify certification of test results to accelerate travel procedures and eliminate requirement of quarantines.

WTTC identified that current prevention protocols widely endorsed by international authorities, such as mandatory quarantines, have interfered with and prolonged travel operations. The wait for vaccines is yet another hindrance which the travel sector cannot afford at this sensitive time. 

woman wheeling small suitcase to board plane

Luis Felipe de Oliveira, Airports Council International (ACI) World Director General stated:

“While we welcome the rapid development and deployment of vaccines, there will be a considerable period before they are widely available so, during the transition period, tests and vaccines together will play a key role in industry recovery.

Just as quarantine effectively halted the industry, a universal requirement for vaccines could do the same and a coordinated and risk-based approach to testing and vaccination going forward will provide passengers with a safe travel environment and foster confidence in air travel.”

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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


Wednesday 23rd of December 2020

All of this is true but for some reason is just miles away from reality. Even with wide testing available, traveling is almost completely halted. That makes you think - are vaccines going to make a difference in that regard or is the panic an hysteria will always win?


Thursday 17th of December 2020

there is no need for a vaccine at all to restore travel,vitamin D3,Vitamin C with zinc and any zinc ionophore like hydroxyqloroquine,or possibly quercetin is enough to prophylaxis and destroy the virus completly within 48 hours.. instead of quarantines they should mandate vitamins and zinc for the first 5 days upon arrival.. end this scamdemic now..


Wednesday 16th of December 2020

This is great, fabulous news! But every single airport also needs rapid PCR testing, plain and simple, for this to work. Many areas of the world have none, including almost all U.S. airports. This has PROFOUNDLY HINDERED our ability to travel -- and by "profoundly hindered," I mean it has "prevented" travel without flying to other countries, outright, just to get a PCR test that meets various country requirements for entry times.

There are a handful of countries where I can visit, but that is only because they have opted out of PCR testing as a pre-requirement, and they are not the norm.

Even the countries with "generous" PCR testing -- five days, for example -- do not make it easier for me to travel when the nearest PCR tests, for travel, are 400+ miles from where I live and still aren't guaranteed for more than 72 hours. If states will not support pre-travel testing, and that IS the case and why tests are hard to come by in much of the U.S., then airports needs to have testing offered... both airside and outside (because some states now have quarantine restrictions for entry from other states, and likewise many countries require a visa to walk outside the doors, so travelers must be able to access rapid PCR testing while airside, or beforehand, at the airport or close by the airport, with printed test results that are signed, as so many countries required, made available).

I am beyond fed up with the proposals being made to improve travel which COMPLETELY ignore the reality on the ground for many travelers.

However, I am glad to see this news, at least, but it must, must, must be coupled with actual access to pre-flight travel testing that is universal.


Wednesday 16th of December 2020

Of course it can, we never needed any of this crap. Let people decide for themselves!