Mandatory vaccine for international travel branded ‘discriminatory’

Requiring everyone who wishes to go overseas to have been vaccinated against Covid-19 is a path towards discrimination, according to the head of the World Travel and Tourism Council.

Gloria Guevara, chief executive of the industry body, criticised the approach by Australian airline Qantas, whose boss, Alan Joyce, suggested passengers would need a jab before they can board one of its international services.

“We should never require the vaccination to get a job or to travel,” she said. “I totally disagree with the approach from Qantas. If you require the vaccination before travel, that takes us to discrimination.”

The chief executive of AirAsia, Tony Fernandes, supported Guevara, and added that global testing measures are the way to unlock travel.

However, according to a survey conducted by Qantas, 87 per cent of respondents said they would be happy to take the coronavirus vaccine if it was demanded for international travel, while 85 per cent thought it should be required for travel to “at least some countries”. 

A 2020 report by the Ada Lovelace Institute, an independent research body, stated that the introduction of ‘vaccine passports’ could “pose extremely high risks in terms of social cohesion, discrimination, exclusion and vulnerability.”

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