The government recently announced that over half of all adults in the UK have received their first dose of the vaccine, including a large proportion of the most at risk groups. This is undoubtedly great news and will hopefully lead to the relaxation of restrictions as soon as it is safe to do so.
Currently international travel restrictions are due to be relaxed from the 17th May, provided the infection rate remains stable. The government is planning a ‘traffic light’ system to allow travel to mutually agreed countries with similar rates of infection. It is currently unknown whether travellers will need to quarantine upon their return, but it does open up the possibility of overseas holidays this summer.
There has also been talk of introducing vaccine passports as a way of opening up international travel. Dr Adrian Hyzler, Chief Medical Officer at Healix International, provided his thoughts on the debate surrounding these passports in a recent article:
“There’s no question that any initiative that can enable international travel without increasing the risk of infections from COVID-19 will be welcomed by the much-beleaguered travel industry and all its associated services. But the lack of discrimination from COVID-19 – it affects every age group, every gender, every race, every socio-economic group – could actually be the potential for a very high risk of discrimination if ‘Vaccine Passports’ are adopted as the only way to allow international travel.”
“I want to be clear. I see no harm in a ‘digital immunity certificate’, per se, for ease of verification of vaccination status, especially as this will be easier to verify by authorities and less susceptible to a range of forgeries or indecipherable documentation. However, I do worry about the further implications of a ‘passport’ or ‘green pass’ that enables those that are vaccinated to do things that others cannot. This form of immune-privilege will disadvantage a number of people, many of whom are already victims of inequity and discrimination, not just as a result of COVID, but dating back well before the pandemic.
You can read his full piece here on the Healix website.
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|Andy Tibbenham||Ben Broom|