WHO Changes Recommendations In Regards To International Travel

By: George William

The WHO said in a statement on Wednesday that it recommends nations to lift or ease international traffic bans and to not require proof of vaccination for travelers.

The reasons the WHO gives for lifting or easing international traffic is because, “they do not provide added value and continue to contribute to the economic and social stress experienced by States Parties.”

“Blanket travel bans will not prevent the international spread, and they place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods. In addition, they can adversely impact global health efforts during a pandemic by disincentivizing countries to report and share epidemiological and sequencing data. All countries should ensure that the measures are regularly reviewed and updated when new evidence becomes available on the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of Omicron or any other VOC.”

As for not requiring proof of vaccination, the WHO says, “At the present time, it is WHO’s position that national authorities and conveyance operators should not introduce requirements of proof of COVID-19 vaccination for international travel as a condition for departure or entry, given that there are still critical unknowns regarding the efficacy of vaccination in reducing transmission. In addition, considering that there is limited availability of vaccines, preferential vaccination of travelers could result in inadequate supplies of vaccines for priority populations considered at high risk of severe COVID-19 disease. WHO also recommends that people who are vaccinated should not be exempt from complying with other travel risk-reduction measures.”

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