The head of one of the world’s most prominent tourism lobby groups has warned that if governments embrace “no jab, no fly” polices, it will kill the travel industry.
Gloria Guevara, head of the World Travel and Tourism Council, said Thursday “I don’t think governments will require vaccination next year,” warning that “If they do that they will kill their sector.”
Bloomberg reported on Guevara’s comments, as she added that the first people to get the vaccine “are the last people who will travel,” the elderly and at-risk.
Guevara further noted that the tourism sector, including airlines, is facing combined losses of US$3.8 trillion.
Guevara’s comments come after a World Health Organisation spokesperson 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.”
A host of airlines have indicated that they will implement the measures regardless of what governments decide, and hotels are the latest sector to indicate they will do the same.
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.
Sweden based human rights group The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) warned last week that 61 per cent of countries have used COVID restrictions “that were concerning from a democracy and human rights perspective.”
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