After a dark and dreary year of being poked, prodded, nasal-swabbed, and forced to prove you don’t have COVID-19 just to travel, a weary world looks forward to a new beginning.
Surely things will be better this year… right?
Well, get ready, because now in order to fly, you might be forced to get a special passport proving you’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19.
I know. It sounds crazy and far-fetched.
But remember the start of 2020? Who could have ever dreamed that Americans would have to wear masks while flying or else be banned from flying for life?
Yep, they’ll even boot a 2-year-old off the plane for non-compliance.
And no one could have fathomed we’d have to shell out our own money for a test just to prove we don’t have COVID-19 before we could travel to certain destinations – with some places requiring up to FOUR negative tests!
Yet here we are.
And now that the COVID-19 vaccine has started to rollout, the travel industry is flirting with the idea of making it mandatory for all travelers.
It’s true. Airline execs have already issued chilling statements hinting at what is to come.
Australia’s Qantas Airline CEO Alan Joyce didn’t beat around the bush when he boldly declared his airline was working towards a policy that would only allow vaccinated travelers to board.
“Whether you need that domestically, we will have to see what happens with Covid-19 in the market. But certainly, for international visitors coming out and people leaving the country, we think that’s a necessity,” the Qantas chief said.”
Okay. So that’s Australia.
But then there’s Korea.
Fodor’s Travel reported:
“Korean Air also hinted that it’s most likely that airlines will require it, but only after coordination with governments.”
In reality, we already know many citizens don’t trust their governments to keep them safe – and rightfully so.
They unashamedly ignore the same mandates they expect everyone else to follow.
But here’s the crazy thing: there aren’t even enough vaccines to go around.
And even if there were, many Americans are hesitant to take the COVID-19 vaccine, especially not knowing its long-term complications.
And what about the immuno-compromised or those who are pregnant that aren’t recommended to take the vaccine?
Are they just out of luck when it comes to travel?
Will air travel become only for the healthy elite who will do whatever the government tells them to?
For now, it seems like some in the travel industry have a clear head and realize forcing travelers to get vaccinated will crush their bottom line.
Travel Pulse reported:
“The trade group Airports Council International (ACI), which represents airports worldwide, is against airlines mandating vaccines because it could further deter people from traveling and bog down efforts to reboot the already foundering aviation industry.
ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said, “The industry cannot wait till vaccination becomes available worldwide. During the transition period, tests and vaccines together will play a key role [in] the industry recovery.”
But again, what happens once vaccines are available worldwide? Airline officials might change their tunes and jump onboard the vaccination train.
So, will Americans be required to take the COVID-19 vaccination and show proof before traveling this year?
It depends. Likely it will be airline and country specific.
But in this new era of travel, I wouldn’t rule anything out.
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