Airports: Divide Passengers by Fully Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated?

Airports: Divide Passengers by Fully Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated?


7/27/21 Update: Toronto Airport has backtracked and eliminated its separate lines for vaccinated and unvaccinated arriving passengers, citing “minimal operational efficiencies,” without mention of the health implications of mixing vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers in what could be long lines.

The Toronto Airport YYZ and and Vancouver Airport YVR Will Have Separate Lines for Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Arriving Passengers. The move is in effect both for returning fully vaccinated Canadians, who can skip quarantine, and will apply to fully vaccinated U.S. travelers, who can visit Canada from August 9, 2021.

Dr. Hassan Masri, a Canadian ICU physician, noted “I think it’s good to have a way to minimize the risk of interactions with other people who are potentially higher risk of having COVID-19 or spreading it.”

Currently the separate lines for vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers at YVR and YYZ for only apply for travelers arriving from the U.S. or international destinations, although Toronto-based emergency doctor Dr. Kashif Pirzada believes it should be in place for domestic Canadian flights as well. Yukon Province is seeing a daily average of 17 cases per 100K, higher than all but 13 U.S. states, while Saskatchewan and Manitoba are the next highest Canadian provinces at 3 and 2.9 per 100K respectively, although they're better than all U.S. states except Vermont and New Hampshire.

While the idea of vaccine passports has been divisive in the U.S., some countries require the yellow fever vaccine for entry, and many European countries and Israel are requiring proof of vaccination for certain venues. Earlier this year, United CEO Scott Kirby acknowledged that United had thought about having a vaccinated-only section of flights, but noted that it likely wasn't feasible unless the U.S. government mandated a vaccine requirement to fly (which some have urged, in light of the increase in COVID-19 cases across the country due to the highly contagious delta variant).

What do you think: should more airports have separate lines for fully vaccinated vs. unvaccinated passengers?

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1 month ago

I like the idea of separating travelers according to vaccination status, but what will they do when vaccinated parents arrive with children under the age of 12 who, as of now, are all unvaccinated? I’m strongly in favor of incentivizing vaccinated individuals everywhere. Vaccine mandates are the next step and I hope it’ll happen soon at the federal level, and then trickle down to the State level, like what we’re seeing here in California with state govt employees, and also in NY. Larger percentages of the U.S. population must get vaccinated if we ever want to go back to normal.… Read more »