Travel & Leisure

Why this travel community says you need a vaccine to travel

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Recently Canada has moved to #1 in the world in terms of percentage of citizens who have received their first shot. This opens up the possibility of a whole host of activities and pleasures we’ve all been denied for nearly two years; dining out, seeing and hugging loved ones, and travel, to name a few.

As the founder of a Canadian travel community, it means our members and I can eventually get back to our shared passion for travel that brought us all together in the first place. As we prepare for this, we have recently decided that anyone who wishes to travel on our trips will have to have had their vaccinations.

We bill ourselves a community of likeminded travellers – not likeminded as in an echo chamber, but rather characteristic of the kind of open-mindedness and respect for the shared human experience that draws one to travel in the first place.

We have debated and explored this internally at length, and I believe it is what is best for our community, so that we can go forward living our mission – to bring travellers together and to experience the shared joy of travel. We have to do our best to keep travellers safe both as individuals and as part of our group, and thus I think this decision is resonant with our guiding principles.

Furthermore, getting back to travel means we may very well visit other countries where people have not yet had the opportunity to be vaccinated, and I see it as our responsibility to mitigate as much risk as possible to them while we are guests in their country.

I’m not suggesting all travel companies in Canada should adopt this stance, nor arguing that you shouldn’t travel if you haven’t been vaccinated – simply that within our humble community, this is our position until things change enough to suggest another approach.

Are we making this up as we go along? Yes, just as governments and businesses and communities around the world have been doing in these unprecedented times. 

And do we have all the t’s crossed and i’s dotted on how this will work? No, I don’t have all the details on how we will logistically sort this out at this moment, but you can rest assured we will keep our community abreast of how it’s all going to work as we move forward.

I’ve written this editorial not to upset those who have a different opinion about vaccines, but rather to send a signal through the noise to those who feel the same way as they think about travelling in the months ahead.

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