Vaccination roll-outs and travel

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Regardless of what some are saying, the ability to show that you have been vaccinated looks like the key to international travel. And how countries react to the level of vaccination in destinations outside their countries.

The NHS proof of vaccination card with details on the reverse side.

Yet problems are arising which may even put a dampener on that and the biggest problem may have been highlighted by a survey from Euronews which has used it to help launch Euronews Travel. That problem is the level of take-up of vaccination in countries that are traditionally big holiday destinations.

The survey conducted by Euronews in conjunction with Redfield & Wilton Strategies asked residents in four countries – France, Germany, Italy and the UK (but not Northern Ireland) as to attitudes towards travel and vaccine passports.

Those who oppose or strongly oppose the measure are in the minority: 25% in Germany, 32% in France, 19% in Italy and only 12% in Great Britain.

The polling was completed before the temporary ban on the use of the Astra-Zenica vaccine. That ban and the media space given to it might swell the numbers of those opposing taking that vaccine or any other.

Even discounting that, would medical boffins accept that herd immunity was in place if about a third of the population in France didn’t have the jab and a quarter in Germany didn’t have it?

Would the countries that might accept tourists allow in people without quarantine or PCR testing if the vaccination take up of potential, tourists from a country was that low?

We don’t know.

Although Turkey said yesterday that it would accept Britons whether vaccinated or not after April 15th it did say that it would keep a daily eye on the incidence levels in each country.

You can bet that the British government is doing the same and would be wary of allowing its residents to travel to destinations where there could be doubts about the virus was being controlled. Coming as it does at a time when cases are rising in France, Italy, Germany and some eastern European countries, this places an even greater pressure on the UK. At the time of writing there are only two European countries with a lower incidence level per 100,000 people – Spain and Iceland.

No country wants to have to re-introduce lockdowns and stunt economic growth again. If that happened yet again it would be tourism and travel that would be the tool to control virus spread.

In fact 69% of Britons support or strongly support restricting travel abroad only to those who have been vaccinated against the virus whereas support for this action drops to 35% in Germany, 42% in France and 40% in Italy.

In France there a majority of 18-35 year olds say that they won’t get the vaccine. In addition 90% of French responders say it matters to them which specific coronavirus vaccine they receive

For those who are thinking of booking perhaps the caution of Grant Shapps, who said last week not to book overseas travel yet, is not misplaced.

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