Some links to products and travel providers on this website will earn Traveling For Miles a commission that helps contribute to the running of the site. Traveling For Miles has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling For Miles and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. For more details please see the disclosures found at the bottom of every page.
A couple of days ago, the UK announced that travelers who have been fully vaccinated will no longer have to take pre-departure tests and will not be subject to post-arrival testing either and this has already kick-started a small but significant resurgence in travel bookings which is welcome news to the beleaguered industry. Now it’s time for the news to get even better and for more countries to follow suit.
The Delta and Omicron variants have now been around long enough (and have been present in enough disparate populations) for scientists to have a more than a reasonable understanding of their potency, their transmissibility, and their ability to circumvent the protections that the various vaccines provide, and the news appears to be good.
While none of the vaccines appears to be able to fully prevent an individual from catching Covid-19, it looks like three doses of the major vaccines do a good job of preventing serious illness and hospitalizations and that the level of protection offered to the triple vaccinated is significant. Considering just how quickly these vaccines were developed, that’s verging on miraculous.
So, with three doses of the major vaccines seemingly capable of significantly reducing the number of people who require hospitalization, it’s time for countries where vaccines are plentiful to take another long hard look at who the pre-/post-travel testing measures are aimed at protecting because they’re not aimed at protecting the general population anymore.
In countries where most people have easy access to the Covid vaccines, the majority of Covid patients taking up space in hospital wards are unvaccinated (although the percentages quoted have been exaggerated in certain quarters – link), and although recent reports appear to indicate that “the unvaccinated are approximately 100 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than those who have been vaccinated and boosted” (link), it’s time to start accepting that a number of countries (like the US) are close to reaching the maximum number of people that they will persuade to get vaccinated.
The fact is that there are a lot of people who for one reason or another will never come forward to get vaccinated and it’s time for the rest of us to be allowed to get on with our lives without having to be subjected to measures that are in place to primarily protect them.
No one should be forced to get vaccinated – unlike some hypocrites, my beliefs surrounding what control governments should have over what a person chooses to do to their body don’t change when it suits me – but individuals who have followed scientific advice and who have embraced the vaccine program shouldn’t have to endure restrictions that are only in place to protect those who have chosen a different path.
I understand that nations are still concerned that their health services could get overwhelmed by another large spike in infections, but as it’s unlikely to be the fully vaccinated who add to pressures on the health services, it’s time to let the fully vaccinated get on with their lives.
If unvaccinated people pose as big a threat to hospitals and health services as we’re being told, then why not simply ban them from international travel to help minimize the risk they pose? Countries may not be able to ban their unvaccinated citizens from traveling domestically and they may find it hard to ban their own unvaccinated citizens from returning home, but if most countries won’t allow unvaccinated foreign nationals to visit, that puts up at least one serious barrier to the movement of a group that scientists appear to agree poses a risk.
I’ll fight tooth and nail to help uphold everyone’s right to choose how they treat their body no matter how idiotic I may think their choice is, but while everyone should have the freedom to choose whether to get vaccinated, that doesn’t mean that everyone should also be immune from the consequences that come with the choice that they make.
In counties where the vaccines are plentiful, it’s time for those of us who have followed all the scientific advice to be allowed to get on with our lives and for those who continue to choose to believe their Facebook “friends” over science to be forced to face up to the consequences of that choice.