P&O boss outlines vaccination rules for travellers

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While all travel out of the country is currently banned under coronavirus legislation, many are hoping that holidays will be able to resume in the summer period following the UK’s remarkable vaccine success. The use of so-called “vaccine passports” has not been brought into any legislation and as it currently stands you do not need a vaccine to fly – but this could change.

International air travel has collapsed thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, with millions of flights cancelled and many planes grounded around the world.

The UK’s short summer respite from coronavirus meant travel abroad was briefly a reality, but it was soon banned once again as a second wave took hold of Europe.

Some airlines are proposing banning passengers who cannot provide proof they are fully-vaccinated.

This statement has caused some controversy.

Denmark and Sweden are currently developing vaccine passports.

The prospect of “cover certificates” needed for attendance to large events is also being considered by the UK Government.

European officials announced plans for a “Digital Green Certificate” – enabling anyone with a vaccine or recent negative test to travel within the EU.

International travel is definitely out of the questions for all Brits until at least May 17 – the proposed date in the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown for when holidays may be allowed to resume.

The Government is currently planning to offer all UK adults their first dose of a vaccine by the summer, bolstering the idea that summer travel could be a reality.

But the slow vaccination progress currently being made on the continent could jeopardise plans, with officials concerned about Europe’s low vaccination rates suggesting it could create a hotbed for new vaccine-resistant strains to emerge.

Which airlines will require a vaccine passport?

Australian airline Qantas was among the first to insist all passengers have proof of a coronavirus vaccination before flying.

According to the airline’s chief executive Alan Joyce: “The vast majority of our customers think this is a great idea – 90 percent of people that we’ve surveyed think it should be a requirement for people to be vaccinated to travel internationally.”

Ryanair, EasyJet and Aer Lingus will not be introducing mandatory vaccine proof for flights, with Are Lingus calling for rapid testing going forward.

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However, if countries introduce a requirement to be vaccinated before entry, airlines will need to check for this before boarding, similar to how tests are required before entry to many countries.

British Airways is planning to let passengers register their status on the BA app.

Furthermore, the International Air Transport Association is testing a travel pass, but it is not yet clear how this will work.

Countries including Greece and Israel are already issuing Covid certificates to those who have been vaccinated and are discussing the idea of coronavirus passports for travelling.

Elsewhere, Saga and P&O Cruises have both made it a requirement to show proof of a vaccine for passengers and workers.

The WHO’s director of digital health and innovation Bernard Mariano said: “We don’t approve the fact that a vaccinations passport should be a condition for travel.”

He added a unified approach would be needed by Government’s across the world for post-covid travel to work.

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