Yet another sector of the travel industry has reported that it may require coronavirus vaccination to provide services to travelers, according to a report which notes that insurers may require to see proof of vaccination before covering those who wish to go on vacation.
The international journal of travel and health insurance reports that “if the EU forces travelers to be vaccinated, travel insurance providers may refuse to cover those who refuse to be vaccinated.”
The report notes that the European Union has previously indicated that travelers and anyone applying for a visa could be mandated to obtain the vaccine in order to enter and travel between EU countries.
“If the EU makes vaccines compulsory, travel insurers will probably follow,” the newspaper said.
Elvio Chilelli, of insurer Europ Assistance, said that while vaccination is not currently a requirement, if the EU requires it, the insurer will adopt the same policy.
AXA insurance also plans to make COVID vaccination a mandatory requirement if the EU does.
“It is likely that countries will require people to have received the vaccine to enter. Therefore, if customers have not been vaccinated, they will not be covered, ”the company said.
“If there is no requirement from the incoming country, we cannot demand that people have received the vaccine – because clients may not have had the opportunity to get one.” , said an Axa spokesperson.
EU news website Schengenvisainfo also reported on the likely move by insurers, noting that anti-vaxxers are likely to be specifically targeted by the warrants.
“Even if anti-vax travelers find a loophole in the requirement and manage to enter one of the member states, travel insurance providers may refuse to cover them,” the report says.
He continues: “With the high volume of fake news and conspiracy theories unfolding for months on the pandemic and vaccination, the real challenge for the EU will not be purchasing the necessary vaccine doses, but rather to convince people to be vaccinated. “
The report adds that “Conspiracy theorists in Europe and around the world have targeted Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who is known as a vaccination supporter, claiming he is responsible for the coronavirus pandemic.”
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Some have reacted to the likely decision by insurers, wondering what happens if people choose not to be vaccinated for medical reasons or cannot get vaccinated:
Even those who are ready to get the vaccine may not be able to do so for a while. Will he also be denied the fundamental freedoms of travel?
Surveys have shown that about half of the people in the world are unwilling to get vaccinated at this stage.
News about insurance companies potentially mandating vaccination follows indications from dozens of airline executives and travel industry officials that proof of vaccination, via ‘COVID passports’, will become mandatory for traveling.
Additionally, hotels have also indicated that they will do the same.
The head of one of the world’s largest tourism lobby groups has warned that if governments adopted “no jab, no theft” policies it would kill the travel industry.
Gloria Guevara, head of the World Travel and Tourism Council, said recently: “I don’t think governments will demand vaccination next year”, warning that “if they do, they will kill their industry”.
As we reported last month, IATA, the world’s largest air travel lobby group, expects its COVID travel pass app to be fully rolled out in the first months of 2021.
Another ‘COVID passport’ type system known as CommonPass, sponsored by the World Economic Forum, is also under development.
Another “ COVID passport ” app called AOKpass from international travel security company SOS is currently being tested between Abu Dhabi and Pakistan.
Hundreds of tech companies are scrambling to develop COVID passport systems.
UK human rights group Privacy International has warned that while “immunity” passports are issued by certain governments, this could signal a shift towards “Digital identity schemes” and other mandatory identification schemes.
“Once you have multiple uses (eg, access to services) in multiple areas (eg, public sector, private sector), in multiple countries (eg, travel), then we are approaching ‘a global identity document necessary to live your life,’ the group warned. .
The Swedish-based human rights group, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), warned last week that 61% of countries had used COVID restrictions “which were of concern to the point of view of democracy and human rights ”.
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