The World Travel and Tourism Council rejects the use of mandatory vaccinations as a requirement for travel.
During the Reuters Next Conference, Gloria Guevara, chief executive of the World Travel and Tourism Council said that the practice would be similar to workplace discrimination.
The leading world travel authority slammed the idea.
“If you require the vaccination before travel, that takes us to discrimination,” said Guevara. “We should never require the vaccination to get a job or to travel.”
Some companies and travel organizations have been floating the idea of making vaccinations a mandatory requirement. In November Qantas airlines stated it would require all passengers to provide proof of vaccination before boarding.
In response to the Qantas announcement, UK based Tradwinds Travel said in a statement on their website that travelers who wish to book with Qantas Airlines will have to take their business elsewhere after learning of the Airline’s plans for ‘forced’ vaccinations.
The Australian airline’s chief executive, Alan Joyce, said in an interview that “We are looking at changing our terms and conditions to say for international travelers, we will ask people to have a vaccination before they can get on the aircraft,” and that he believes that other airlines will follow suit in this demand.
Chief executive of the WTTC said that global testing was the key to quickly restarting worldwide travel. Other countries disagree and are taking their own approach.
Vacation destinations such as Bali have stated that they want to vaccinate 70% of their population before reopening their borders for international tourism.
“We will distribute the vaccine to at least 70% of the total 4 million Bali population, so we can open a travel bubble,” Indonesia’s Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno said.
Dale Fisher, who is the Chairman of the WHO’s Outbreak Alert and Response Network stated that herd immunity would not be reached quickly.
“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,” Fisher told Reuters Next. “There might be some countries that might achieve it but even then that will not create ‘normal’ especially in terms of border controls.”
Whether governments adopt proof of vaccination as an entry requirement is yet to be seen.
Countries such as Mexico who have had relaxed border measures during the entire pandemic are unlikely to change course.
Nations such as Australia with some of the strictest border rules in the world may look to add additional layers of security to further protect its population as the pandemic continues.
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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