WestJet, YVR release results of rapid antigen testing study

Testing, not proof of vaccination, should be the way forward: WTTC

LONDON — Unvaccinated travellers must not be discriminated against as travel re-opens post-COVID-19, says WTTC President & CEO Gloria Guevara, adding comprehensive testing will allow free and safe movement for all.

“WTTC wholeheartedly supports the testing on departure of all travellers to ensure passengers can prove they are COVID-19 free and thus avoid the spread,” says Guevara.

It will take a significant amount of time to vaccinate the global population, she adds, especially those in less advanced countries, or in different age groups.

There can’t be discrimination against those who wish to travel but have not been vaccinated. “Only a tiny percentage of people around the world have so far received the vaccine, whereas there are vast numbers who have not, but who could be tested, show a negative result, and travel safely,” she says.

“The common sense approach is to allow the free movement of people who can prove a negative test result, rather than reserve travelling or jobs for a small minority who have been vaccinated.

Guevara adds that the most vulnerable groups should be prioritized. “A blanket vaccination requirement would simply discriminate against non-vulnerable groups, such as Generation X, Z and Millennials, who should be able to travel with proof of a negative COVID test.”

“WTTC has long been calling for an internationally recognized rapid and cost-effective testing regime at departure points worldwide. This would avoid exporting the virus and aid the restoration of international travel,” she says.

In recent weeks talk of a vaccination passport has ramped up as caseloads around the world continue to escalate. In November 2020 Qantas and Korean Air were among the airlines talking about the possibility of a vaccination passport for international travellers.