England will not extend the lockdown, Catalonia is lifting restrictions, and Chile is receiving tourists.
According to Johns Hopkins University, over 58.8 million people in the world have had or continue to get sick, over 1.3 million have died.
The countries are gradually opening their borders to vaccinated travelers: Greece and Israel have announced mutual recognition of vaccination passports. Seychelles, New Zealand and Australia have previously announced mandatory vaccinations for travel. The authorities of Cyprus and Singapore are still in thought. Experts say vaccination is near to become a travel prerequisite, but some countries are already making such a requirement for tourists.
Tourism experts think that only a few countries, whose economies are not heavily dependent on tourism, will afford such restrictions, while most countries will not take such harsh measures, fearing to scare away potential tourists. However, at the moment, Seychelles, New Zealand and Australia have already announced that they intend to allow only vaccinated tourists into the country. Cyprus is considering allowing vaccinated travelers to cross the border without additional coronavirus testing. Israel and Greece have agreed on mutual recognition of vaccination passports for citizens so that they can move freely between countries after February 20, when Israel opens its borders.
The state is also negotiating with the UK and Estonia on a transport corridor between countries for the vaccinated. According to the Israeli website Ynet, similar agreements can be concluded between Israel, Romania, Serbia, Cyprus, Georgia and Seychelles.
Other countries are also considering introducing a COVID-19 passport policy: “The developed vaccine certification procedure would help restore tourism in Singapore” — said the country’s Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung, — “With vaccinations and vaccine certifications, we can ease restrictions to launch international tourism in Singapore this year.” Ong Ye Kung explained he does not hope for a full restoration of air transportation but believes that transport corridors with some countries will open this year when more people will be vaccinated, and the regions will become safe, as the epidemiological situation stabilizes.
Georgia was the first country to lift travel restrictions for all vaccinated passengers. The authorities of the country do not require any quarantine or testing on arrival or before departure from tourists, provided that they have had time to get vaccinated before the trip.
Alan Joyce, the director of Qantas Airlines from Australia, is sure that a certificate of vaccination against coronavirus will be mandatory in the future when boarding an aircraft. He also drew attention to the fact that Qantas airlines themselves will follow this strategy because in his opinion it is the most rational. In an interview on television, Joyce revealed that his company is considering a second strategy, in which passengers can be asked to vaccinate immediately before boarding the plane. He also shared his assumption that most of the world’s airlines will also follow such a policy. Earlier, air carriers did not discuss a ban on flights for unvaccinated passengers.
David Paul, who holds the position of medical adviser to the Air Transport Association, said that in the future, not only companies but also the government of all countries will require information on the confirmation of vaccination, shared by the Financial Times.