Vaccines for international air travellers

A way to speed up the recovery of international travel

by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS FRAS

Welcome to 2021 and the new decade of the 2020s! The New Year has started in many countries much more silent than usual. Larger gatherings and fireworks were illegal, even clinking your glass with neighbours out of the question and masks still required. 

Coming out of a major crisis, this time a pandemic instead of a war, however, new “roaring 20s” like the one of the previous century can be expected again, with feverishly accelerating developments in culture, technology and science as well as with stock market crashes and – instead of inflation – catastrophes based on climate change.

Coming out of the pandemic depends, needless to say, on the growing number of vaccines becoming available from companies in China, Russia, Europe and the USA. As of January 3rd, 2021, more than 12 million persons had received a vaccine.

Would it not be a useful idea to include international air travellers to one of the privileged groups of recipients, after 80+ citizens, doctors and nurses, but at the same time as teachers, policemen etc.? In combination with negative test results provided and/or rapid testing at the airport just before departure, this could give international travel including aviation a kick-start as visitors will not represent a risk for the host community and will not be anxious to catch the virus from the host community. Cross-border air transport is much easier to control and lower in numbers than road or rail transport.

The debate of “Who gets it first, second and third?” is still going on, so it would be providing a boost to global tourism recovery if WTTC, ETOA, PATA etc. could inject this argument into the global discussion.

The COTRI WEELY team hopes that all our readers will have a peaceful, healthy and profitable decade. As the famous British historian Eric Hobsbawm once remarked: “If you are on a ship that’s going down, you might as well travel first class.”

With best wishes by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt and the COTRI WEEKLY team.

PS.: This month the CTT China Tourism Training Alumni Network (CTTAN) is officially starting! Joining the CTT online training includes free lifelong membership in the CTTAN. For more information on the updated CTT Edition 2021 visit