Pros and Cons of a “Vaccine Passport” for Tourism
As vaccines are beginning to roll out in different places across the world, it seems like we’re heading towards the end of the pandemic. While there are still logistical issues, things could get better soon. Eventually, places will start to reopen and people won’t have to shelter-in-place all the time. It’s also good news for tourism. This industry has been badly hit by the pandemic. Once people get vaccinated, traveling to other places will be possible again. While it could take a year or so to achieve herd immunity, there are suggestions to reopen travel opportunities for people who already got vaccinated. The idea of a “vaccine passport” is becoming likelier by the days. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of having one.
Pro: Tourism can restart
There are already millions of people who got vaccinated across the world. Even if only a fraction of them decide to travel, it could already help boost the industry. Some countries don’t allow tourists right now due to fears of the virus spreading even more. Others have mandatory quarantine requirements, making tourism unappealing. If vaccine passport holders can travel freely, and countries won’t have to fear about potential outbreaks, it’s a good thing. The tourism industry will gradually get back to life.
Con: We are yet to see the full efficacy of vaccines
While some vaccines proved effective during the trials, it’s still different when used on a large scale. There were even reports of people getting infected after getting vaccinated. There’s also a possibility that those who got vaccinated can spread the virus, even if they don’t show symptoms. If there’s a risk that this problem occurs, the vaccine passport won’t mean anything.
Pro: There will be more effort to vaccinate people and incentive to get vaccinated
There are several factors impeding widespread vaccination. The first is how slow some governments are in procuring vaccines and the other is misinformation on vaccines. When vaccine passports become more popular, governments will have incentives to vaccinate the population. It will help revive their economy. People who want to travel also have the motivation to get vaccinated. Even if they don’t necessarily believe in vaccines, they might change their minds. Those who wish to conduct business in other places might also want to get the vaccine to receive the passport.
Con: It could lead to discrimination
The problem with the vaccination rollout right now is that it’s available mostly in developed nations. It could take time before vaccines reach the poorest countries. It means that tourism becomes even more exclusive. It will be available only for people who can afford to get themselves vaccinated. We already live in a world where more opportunities are only available for the wealthy. This vaccine passport will probably highlight this issue.
Hopefully, we will soon find an end to this pandemic. Many people waiting for the vaccine to be discovered, and it should start rolling out soon. Otherwise, the tourism industry will most likely fail to recover for years to come.
1st and featured image from https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/sites/default/files/styles/full_width/public/thumbnails/image/shutterstock_601142399_2.jpg?itok=ztEv3mrU
2nd image from https://www.health.com/condition/infectious-diseases/coronavirus/covid-immunity-passport