By Rich Thomaselli for Travel Pulse | Jan 11 2021
The CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council says she is against a global mandate to require a COVID-19 vaccination in order to travel.
“We should never require the vaccination to get a job or to travel,” Gloria Guevara said in remarks at the Reuters Next Conference. “If you require the vaccination before travel, that takes us to discrimination.”
A vaccine mandate has been a key topic of discussion in the travel industry since the rollout of two coronavirus vaccinations, one from Pfizer and one from Moderna, about a month ago. Many believe presenting proof that a customer has had the vaccine would create a greater sense of security and confidence among those reluctant to travel.
Australia’s Qantas Airways has said it plans to introduce such a requirement.
Several health experts said during the Reuters Next Conference that the mass roll-out of coronavirus vaccines would not result in enough people having immunity to be able to effectively stop COVID-19 from spreading. Those same health experts say the vaccine will only work, and create something of a herd immunity, if 70-75 percent of people are inoculated.
Dale Fisher, chairman of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Outbreak Alert and Response Network, said: “We won’t get back to normal 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. There might be some countries that might achieve it but even then that will not create ‘normal’ especially in terms of border controls.”