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Mandatory Travel Vaccination Is Discrimination Says World Travel & Tourism Council

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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. 

male travelers with luggage and mask at airport

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.”

passengers departing airport arrivals wearing masks

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. 

woman traveler exploring london

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.

Man boarding flight in mask

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. 

woman waits for flight in mask and gloves

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.”

backpacker thailand asian mask

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. 

Travelers in masks waiting at US Airport

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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


Friday 15th of January 2021

Most important is transparency. A website like this one is extremely useful because it allows people to make better decision as they assess alternatives. It is up to us, the customers, to let competition play out. If airliners get away with more restrictions and poor customer service, then we have only us to blame.


Tuesday 12th of January 2021

Won't be flying anything soon, these countries and airlines are cutting their own opinion.


Tuesday 12th of January 2021

How does this differ from certain countries demanding Yellow Fever vaccination?


Tuesday 12th of January 2021

Why? Some travel vaccinations like yellow fever (or malaria pills, which can show awful side effects) are mandatory for some countries as well, and then nobody is complaining. I think it's fair that airlines themselves can decide on a mandatory vaccination or not; if you don't want to get a covid vaccin, then just don't hop on a plane but get to your destination in a different way ;-).

Stephen White

Tuesday 12th of January 2021

Their concerns are likely to fall on deaf ears. The trajectory of the travel industry and national governments tells me that vaccinations are going to be a de facto requirement in order to travel. It might be discriminatory, but they'll get away with it due to people's fears of COVID.