Opinion: The U.K. just showed the world how not to craft covid-19 travel policies
Washington Post 11 October, 2021
This week, the British government enacted and then rapidly changed its official covid-19 vaccination and travel policy for England, a confusing one that promised to create more problems than it solved. At first, visitors holding vaccination certificates from certain countries, primarily in Europe and North America, were exempt from mandatory 10-day quarantine on arrival.
But the initial policy did not recognize certificates from many countries, including all African countries, much of Latin America and large Asian countries such as China and India. It also only recognizes four vaccines — by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson — not the full list of vaccines approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization. In countries where individuals are encouraged to mix vaccines, only doses from the above list will be recognized.
The policy, which went into effect Monday, was changed on Thursday to recognize vaccination certificates from more countries, following public outcry about its inherent injustice. But it is still worth analyzing because several other countriesare on the cusp of making vaccination rather than testing the cornerstone of their covid-19 travel policies — an approach that could easily exacerbate global inequalities, especially if implemented like in England.