If you want to travel you will need to vaccinated or at least that is how current global trends are pointing. Over the last month countries from Iceland, to the Seychelles, Moldova and as of Today Thailand have announced that they will be, or have opened their borders to fully vaccinated tourists.
To read about Thailand opening to tourism click here .
Now whilst this does not amount to some form of global policy, nor does it mean hopes of a vaccine passport are going to happen right away, it does show that the global tourism trend is moving towards only letting in vaccinated tourists.
A negative PCR test will no longer be enough to travel
Previously the earliest countries to open to tourism had insisted on negative PCR tests taken within 48-72 hours of arrival to the country, although these countries were few and far between.
You can read our Covid-19 travel update here.
What we are now seeing is that many countries are either taking away the negative PCR test as a means of entry, or are requiring it as well as vaccination.
Quite simply removing the need to test arrivals into the country removes an added layer of bureaucracy at a time when countries are trying to reboot their economies.
This should also lead to the speeding up of a form of vaccine passport being put into place sooner rather than later.
You can read our take on vaccine passports here .
Of course there are countries such as Afghanistan and South Sudan that have remained open throughout the pandemic, but as previously mentioned not only are these countries few and far between, but more importantly international travelers will have to consider which countries they need to transit through and indeed if these countries will be prepared to accept non-vaccinated guests.
Why is this change happening and how likely is it to occur?
Previously countries wanted to open up, but as so few people had been vaccinated the only option was to let in people who tested negative. Not only did this policy not greatly work, but it was only ever intended as a stop-gap until the world hit the right level of immunizations.
As things currently stand almost 20 percent of the worlds population have been vaccinated, with 36 million doses being administered daily, according to World Health Organization (WHO) data. When it comes to big economies like the USA and the UK, this number jumps to 90+ percent. In short the non-vaccinated will soon be outnumbered by the vaccinated, it really is that simple.
To read about how the world is being vaccinated click here .
If you want to travel you will need to be vaccinated
So whilst there is not yet any formal vaccine passport it should be remembered that although some find them controversial, they are nothing new to the travel industry. Countries have required various vaccines, from measles to yellow fever in order to enter for decades, the only difference this time around is that we may finally see some kind of digital proof of vaccination, probably via smart phone.
Vaccinations and masks are already becoming the norm for travel
The concept of getting a vaccine, which compared to medical norms has not been tested as vigorously as previous vaccines has proved controversial to some, as has the norm of wearing a mask. We will not comment on people’s beliefs, everyone has the right not to be vaccinated, but countries will have the right to not let you in.
Face-masks are another case in point, whether you agree with them, or not they fall into the category of social norms. We personally travel to places such as Iran, and North Korea where social norms dictate various things. Masks are exactly the same, if a country considers them mandatory, then so will we.
Will tour guides have to be vaccinated?
Young Pioneer Tours are currently going through the process of trying to ensure that all of our staff, be they guides, or not are vaccinated. Now while it is too early to put down a cast-iron policy the world is moving towards a situation where not just tour guides, but anyone involved in the tourist industry is vaccinated. Albania being a main point in case of a country that managed to reboot its tourism industry by prioritizing vaccinating its service industry staff.
We will undauntedly be following whatever not only the industry standards are, but what are the best ways to ensure not only the safety, but the confidence of the people who travel with us. In short though as the world progresses, if you want to travel you will need to be vaccinated.