The president and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has denounced travel companies that are looking to introduce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for passengers.
Gloria Guevara said comprehensive testing for coronavirus will allow free and safe movement for all, and warned the industry not to discriminate against those who wish to travel while unvaccinated.
“WTTC wholeheartedly supports the testing on departure of all travellers to ensure passengers can prove they are COVID-19 free and thus avoid the spread,” she said.
“It will take a significant amount of time to vaccinate the global population, particularly those in less advanced countries, or in different age groups. Therefore, we should not discriminate against those who wish to travel but have not been vaccinated.
“Only a tiny percentage of people around the world have so far received the vaccine, whereas there are vast numbers who have not, but who could be tested, show a negative result, and travel safely.”
Guevara said the common-sense approach is to allow the free movement of people who can prove a negative test result, rather than reserve travelling or jobs for a small minority who have been vaccinated.
“Furthermore, the most vulnerable groups should be prioritised,” she said.
“A blanket vaccination requirement would simply discriminate against non-vulnerable groups such as Generation X, Z and Millennials, who should be able to travel with proof of a negative COVID test.
“WTTC has long been calling for an internationally recognised rapid and cost-effective testing regime at departure points worldwide. This would avoid exporting the virus and aid the restoration of international travel.”
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce revealed late last year that once the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, its usage will be integrated into the airline’s terms and conditions for travel.
“For international travellers, we will ask people to have a vaccination before they get on the aircraft,” Joyce said in an interview on A Current Affair.
“Certainly, for international visitors coming out and people leaving the country, we think that’s a necessity.”
Meanwhile, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is reportedly looking at whether it can legally require passengers to be vaccinated before boarding cruises.
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