HomeNewsMandatory vaccines for travel would kill the sector says the head of...

Mandatory vaccines for travel would kill the sector says the head of World Travel and Tourism Council

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Gloria Guevara, the head of one of the world’s most prominent tourism groups has warned that if governments embrace a “no jab, no-fly” policy, it will kill the travel industry., head of the World Travel and Tourism Council stated, “I don’t think governments will require vaccination next year,” issuing a warning that they will kill their sector if they do.

COVID-19 has been devastating for the Travel and Tourism sector, which came to a standstill.

Guevara added that the first people to get the Covid-19 vaccine “are the last people who will travel, “the elderly and at-risk.”

The tourism sector, including airlines, is facing combined losses of US$3.8 trillion.

Guevara’s comments followed a World Health Organisation spokesperson who said “proof of vaccination for COVID-19 vaccine will be essential for public health purposes,” but added that “It is also important to make a distinction between an ‘immunity passport’ something WHO does not recommend and such a vaccine requirement for travel.”

Some airlines have implied that they will implement the measures regardless of what governments decide, and hotels are the latest sector to indicate they will do the same. Alan Joyce, the chief executive officer of Qantas Airways caused controversy and a debate when he said proof of vaccination would be a condition for travellers entering or leaving Australia on the carrier’s planes.

To date, no country has made Covid-19 vaccinations compulsory or said it would be required for people crossing borders. Airlines are amongst the hardest hit by the Coronavirus global pandemic, with global airline lobby IATA forecasting combined losses of $157 billion this year and next. When the broader tourism sector is added to the tally, the impact rises to $3.8 trillion, Guevara said.

Outside of the airline industry, Stephen Cotton, general secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation, said hundreds of thousands of seafarers across the globe are still stranded on ships and unable to return home because of international travel restrictions. Cotton said, “This humanitarian crisis, which also poses a significant risk to global supply chains, needs to be addressed in part through the introduction of internationally recognized certification of Covid-19 test results and of vaccinations.”

UK based human rights group Privacy International has warned that if “immunity passports” are issued by some governments, “it could signal a creep” toward “digital identity schemes” and other mandatory ID schemes.  “Once you have multiple uses (e.g. access to services) in multiple domains (i.e. public sector, private sector), in multiple countries (i.e. travel), then we are approaching a global identity document needed to live your life,” the group warned.

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