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Will You Need a COVID-19 Vaccine for Future Travel?

In addition to your regular passport, will you soon need a vaccine passport proving that you’ve had the COVID-19 vaccine for travel? In an interview with Newsweek, Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said that the scenario was “quite possible.” 

Facui compared mandating a COVID-19 vaccine for travel to current rules around the yellow fever vaccine, noting that certain countries require it for entry.

Fauci points out that we shouldn’t take getting vaccinated as permission to travel and live as normal, noting that we don’t yet know if those who have been vaccinated can still be carriers and pass the virus on to others. “That’s the reason why I keep saying that even though you get vaccinated, we should not eliminate, at all, public health measures like wearing masks because we don’t know yet what the effect [of the vaccine] is on transmissibility,” he told Newsweek.

In addition to countries requiring the vaccination for entry, it’s possible that airlines may not allow unvaccinated passengers onboard. Australia’s national carrier Qantas, for example, has already announced that they will require international flyers to be vaccinated. 

Cruise ships are likely to follow suit, with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio telling Travel Weekly, “It will certainly be a requirement for the crew, but it’s too early to tell whether we have the legal standing to mandate that you take a vaccine to come onboard – lawyers are looking at it as we speak…We have to build confidence in our customers and among ourselves that it’s safe to cruise.”

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