Tourism

Experts warn ‘immunity certificates’ for travel could be “extremely dangerous”

Governments around the world are mulling giving those who have recovered from COVID-19 a pass to travel as they please, but experts warn it could pose a serious danger.

The UK was the first to float the idea, with its Health Secretary Matt Hancock telling a press briefing at the beginning of April the government was considering issuing ‘immunity certificates’ but admitted it was still “too early in the science” to give details.

Germany, Chile and the US have also discussed the idea to release the certificates in an attempt to kickstart the economy, and Italians may even face mandatory blood tests to determine who can participate in normal life, according to ABC News.

Reuters has reported that Chile will be the first country to actually put the certificates into practice, with sub-secretary of Chile’s Health Ministry, Paula Daza, telling reporters the “COVID-19 card is being prepared and will be delivered soon”.

NBC has since reported the “card” will take the form of a QR code and will be issued to people who have recovered from COVID-19 and are 14 days clear of symptoms.

Last month, the World Health Organisation warned against issuing what it called “immunity passports” to recoverees.

“There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection,” the organisation said in a scientific brief.

Maria Van Kerkhove, an epidemiologist with the WHO, has also voiced concerns that those with a certificate “may not adhere to public health measures that they need to continue to adhere to”, ABC News reported.

Rachel Ankeny, a professor of humanities from the University of Adelaide, told the ABC’s PM program that certificates could be “extremely dangerous because it’s going to privilege or empower certain groups”.

I. Glenn Cohen, a bioethics expert at Harvard Law School, told Bloomberg the certificates may even cause people to seek out infecting themselves with COVID-19.

“That sounds crazy, but if having the antibodies becomes the cost of entering the job market and thus feeding your family, there may be workers who feel pressured into it,” Cohen said.

Last month, researchers at Monash University in Melbourne and Alfred Health began developing a test to determine who had immunity to the virus.

However, there are currently no signs the Australian government is pursuing rolling out the certificates.


Featured image: iStock/THPStock.


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Cruise

Crystal Cruises suspends operations as parent company files to windup business

The Hong Kong supercruise operator is winding up operations, leaving the future of its subsidiaries unknown.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Celebrity chef duo Gary Mehigan and Manu Feildel star in new tourism campaign for Japan

The staff at Travel Weekly have been rewatching our favourite anime to reminisce about Japan, but Gary and Manu might appeal to a broader audience than Pokemon reruns.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Aussie tourism took off in December, but remians well below 2019 levels

If these stats are anything to go by, we’ll be back to worrying about overtourism and carbon footprints in no time! Wait…

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

US slaps “do not travel” warning on Australia as Europe tightens border restrictions

The prospect of fewer American tourists milling about at Darling Harbour we can deal with, but if we have to go one more year without a European summer we’re going to go over the deep end.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Road & Rail

Union survey reveals transport workers asked to return while COVID positive

Workers who answered the survey, which included passenger transport and aviation workers, are also calling for free RATs. That’s rapid antigen tests, not rodents as we first assumed.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

“This isn’t a label we wish to keep”: Intrepid recertified as world’s largest travel B Corp

The tour operator has gone through another extensive company-wide audit to maintain its title, so why is it looking to pass the baton you may ask? Click here.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

AFTA lays down grand plan for 2022

Given how bumpy these last few years have been it’s pretty risky to make long term plans, but AFTA is giving it a crack.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Cruise delegation expresses “bitter disappointment” at lack of progress in lifting cruise ban

Aussie cruises are (still) on hold and cruise suppliers are (still) furious about it, accusing the federal government of breaking its promise.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

US airline CEOs warn of “chaos” as 5G controversy causes flight cancellations

5G scepticism is spreading throughout the world and this time it isn’t just the tinfoil hat crowd saying their piece.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Aussie travellers left stranded, forced to spend thousands due to “antiquated” re-entry requirements

A Melbourne woman said she was forced to fork out $15,000 to meet Australian re-entry requirements after holidaying with family in Fiji.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

SNEAK PEEK: Art deco dream hotel to open next month in Sydney

A heritage-listed hotel with a modern twist is opening its doors on Pitt Street next month, and we’ve got some sneaky pictures to show off ahead of its grand unveiling.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Midweek catch-up with W Sydney’s Roxanne Markovina

Ahead of W Sydney’s grand opening in November, we had a chat with its director of sales and marketing to see if we could get a discount room. Just kidding… or are we?

Share

CommentComments