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International travel does not rely on vaccine passports or QR codes | Instant News

Photographer: Bloomberg The World Health Agency has entered the controversy over vaccine passports, announcing its opposition. It is not known enough whether vaccines prevent transmission, says the WHO. And vaccine passports would not be fair to poorer countries where vaccination has been slow. They could discriminate against people who cannot be vaccinated. Although the agency has always been late to the Covid party, this time the WHO is probably right, but not entirely for the reasons it gives. Yes, it is true that vaccine passports would surely reinforce the inequality caused by the initial vaccine distribution. As you might expect, richer countries bought the lion’s share of available doses. The poorest nations are jostling each other. Requiring some sort of biometric or QR code as proof of vaccination as a condition of international travel would be bad publicity for the West’s supposed commitment to fairness. However, the claim of inequality could be overcome if such passports are truly necessary for economic recovery – as the travel and hospitality industries claim. But are they correct? Consider Godzilla v. Kong. Seriously. The More The film made nearly $ 50 million domestically in its opening weekend, a figure no one expected at a time when, supposedly, audiences were too scared to see it. go to the cinema. Across the world, the monster movie had nearly $ 300 million in revenue in its first week of release. But maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. It is increasingly clear that the public is much less afraid than a few months ago. As restaurants reopen, people are eating in droves. The malls are crowded. Popular demand for the freedom to live is finally exhausting the executive order restriction that has so characterized the pandemic response. I say this not to criticize public health officials, but to stress that people can often take risks. -versus-reward decisions on their own. It is true, as many suggest, that our acceptance of risk can pose risks to others. But the onus of showing that these externalities are worth the burden of special passports falls on supporters who may find it difficult to make their point: since vaccines have been around, people have been wondering how to show someone has one. In 1880, a letter to a medical journal complained that it was impossible to know for sure whether smallpox vaccination worked because the only “proof of vaccination” was the scar left by the bite – a scar that the appearance of the smallpox. disease could make it invisible. . Yet the world has survived: for over a century, we have accepted as proof of schoolchildren’s vaccination a piece of paper with a scribbled signature, or even, at one point, a simple statement from the child’s parents. Overseas travelers have long known about the yellow international certificate of vaccination, which is usually filled with an impenetrable hand. If proof of vaccination is important, why do we now need a fancy QR code? Yes, the small CDC-approved cards that show someone received the Covid-19 vaccine seem easy to tamper with. Or even to steal: On the site where my wife and I received our snaps, I noticed a bunch of new unmarked cards on an unguarded shelf near the back exit. prove that there is an epidemic of forgery or theft. Here, I feel the same as I do about voter identification laws: before we walk any further down the road to a society where we constantly prove our identity, supporters should at least be able to show off with something. more than anecdotes that a problem in fact exists. Yet even though we have survived for over a century with relatively straightforward evidence of vaccination against a variety of dangerous viruses, I have not been able to find a single reported case involving their tampering. Granted, in the current crisis, fake certificates have been offered for sale on the dark web for $ 250 or more, but we don’t know how many takers there have been, and it’s hard to imagine any the demand they generate, they will survive. the widespread availability of the vaccine itself, which is free. This in turn suggests that distributing more doses around the world (estimated to cost $ 27 billion worldwide – barely a drop in the American bucket these days!) Is the cheapest and easiest way. to prevent any potential tampering. And that would have the significant advantage of helping the poorest countries to overcome the pandemic. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board or of Bloomberg LP and its owners. To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sarah Green Carmichael at [email protected] Before he’s here, it’s on the Bloomberg terminal. LEARN MORE .

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Can vaccine passports help reopen international travel? | Instant News

One day none of this will matter, but when? Photographer: Isabel Infantes / AFP via Getty Images Photographer: Isabel Infantes / AFP via Getty Images After more than a year of shelter at home, people are eager to travel internationally again – especially those who have been sitting on canceled travel credits in 2020 Airlines would love nothing more than reopening borders. While the industry supports continued mask mandates, physical distancing and other safety measures, it is banking on vaccinations to ease more onerous international testing and quarantine requirements. In the United States, the airline industry has called on the Biden administration to update the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to exempt vaccinated international travelers from current Covid testing requirements. In Europe, Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair Holdings Plc, argues that the litmus tests for maintaining travel restrictions should be hospitalizations and deaths. “Once you eliminate that risk with vaccination, I honestly think people will rebel. They won’t want to be locked up, ”O’Leary said in an interview with Bloomberg TV last month. “Covid will become – I mean it will always be with us – but it will be much more like in my opinion the annual flu, the annual cold, because of the success of the vaccinations.” Is he right? Can vaccines be the turning point airlines hope it will be? Bloomberg Opinion industry columnist Brooke Sutherland speaks with Sam Fazeli, pharmaceutical industry analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence. Their conversation has been edited and condensed. More BS: If a certain percentage of the local population is vaccinated – especially the older and more vulnerable – is it safe to reopen the borders? SF: The goal of vaccination is to get the world back to as normal a place as possible. But there are too many unknowns to precipitate this. O’Leary is right that we shouldn’t focus on the number of cases as a barometer of success. Vaccines are not 100% effective against infections. We shouldn’t be so worried that this becomes just another coronavirus that people catch as part of their normal lives – as long as vaccines keep any severe manifestations of the disease under control. But we have to do it slowly to make sure we are not sleepwalking in yet another disaster. It is too early to declare victory on the basis of hospitalizations or death. Remember, we only identified the virus a little over a year ago. There is still a lot we don’t know about this virus and how it interacts with our immune system. For example, not many people thought that the variants would grow as quickly as they did. The virus has already evolved to such an extent that it has become more transmissible and potentially deadly, as well as possibly able to evade some of the immunity offered by vaccines. We want infection rates to drop before we open the trips so that we don’t give the virus the chance to become even more difficult to manage.BS: Data from a CDC study last week showed that two doses Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc. offer up to 90% protection against infection and can therefore help reduce the spread of disease. Does data like this change the travel calculation? SF: This is indeed great news and yes it would. This is what we all want. We have seen similar readings from Israel and the UK, with actual efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine about the same as that of Pfizer-BioNTech. But remember, this is all measured very soon after the second dose of the vaccine, when the immune response is at its peak. Over the months, the vaccines to protect against the virus catching and spreading may decrease, although you are even less likely to contract the disease yourself. We just don’t know how quickly this would happen, and whether the variants will impact this decline in immunity. A recently published article in the Lancet showed that the efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine against symptomatic B.1.1.7 variant infections first identified in the UK dropped to 70.4% from 81.5% for older viral lines. The Novavax vaccine has seen a similar decline. So we have to be on our guard for now, until we know more.BS: EU and some US entities are working to develop digital travel certificates that would show proof of vaccination status or results tests to immigration officials. What should be included in these health “passports” to make them effective in containing the spread of Covid? SF: It’s a very difficult subject, although I would expect such certificates to come in one form or another. The problem is, if the documentation is based on vaccination status, do we know how long vaccines are effective and protective? Is one vaccine better than another? What if someone wants to travel to a country that has not yet achieved high enough immunization status or is experiencing an active increase in cases? Basing certificates on overall immunity – whether from a vaccine or because someone has had the disease before – can be a little easier. This would make it possible to know how much a person is protected without having to worry about the photo they took or how much time has passed since they took it. But we still have to prove that blood antibody levels are a good sign of protection and what should be the yardstick for immunity. And then there is the risk of fraud. I think vaccine certificates need to be studied in detail to make them effective and foolproof. BS: How can the concerns about the variants be balanced with the fatigue of the lockdown? Is there a risk, as Ryanair’s O’Leary suggested, that people – or even governments – will start to rebel? Greece has particularly expressed its willingness to reopen tourism. SF: I think people will be lining up to take the vaccines as their family and friends get vaccinated and their worries and inhibitions erode. And if vaccination status is a ticket not only to travel, but to visit local cultural and sporting events, then more and more people will be motivated to get vaccinated. We just need to make sure the message is clear about the risk and benefits of vaccines. We should strive not to overstate the benefits of vaccines. No one should be shocked if they hear about people who have been vaccinated and still test positive for the virus, variant or otherwise. Vaccines provide a high degree of protection against symptomatic illnesses, but not 100%, as we have seen in clinical trials. As time passes and immunity wanes, it is likely that we will see more infections, but hopefully very few will lead to serious illness. The key is to keep an eye on the bottom line: a massive reduction in serious illness, hospitalization and death and proof that we have the variants under control. I don’t believe we will have this in the next few months. But once we do, for O’Leary’s commentary, we should end up being out of those locks. BS: When do you think someone from the UK could reasonably expect to visit Europe without quarantine? What about a traveler from the United States? SF: I think summer is too early to travel unrestricted, given all of the uncertainties I’ve listed above. There may be exceptions for fully vaccinated people who have a good reason for traveling – potentially including weddings, funerals, or visiting close family. I can’t wait to find out how many close relatives I had that I didn’t know, given that I live in the sunny southwest of France :-). This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial staff or Bloomberg LP and its owners To contact the authors of this story: Brooke Sutherland at [email protected] Sam Fazeli at [email protected] To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mary Duenwald at [email protected] the Bloomberg terminal. LEARN MORE .

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New Zealand rugby calls on players to take a tiny slice of a bigger pie amid a $ 465 million private equity standoff | Instant News

New Zealand Rugby boss Mark Robinson on the Silver Lakes All Blacks deal. Video / Provided

What continues to separate New Zealand Rugby from the New Zealand Rugby Players Association in their respective views of the Silver Lake proposal is their assessment of the potential risk and who carries it.

Under the terms of the Silver Lake deal, NZR asked NZRPA to agree to take a smaller share of the significantly larger potential revenue.

Players currently receive 36.5 percent of NZR revenue – known as Player Pay Pool (PPP) which has averaged around $ 190 million over the past five years.

The NZR pushes that percentage down to between 30 and 32 percent, but estimates that total revenue will surge to around $ 350 million by 2025 if Silver Lake takes part and will potentially climb again to somewhere closer to $ 500 million a year later. that.

Players will get a huge windfall if they agree to a deal in its current form and Silver Lake is able to make a transformational change in their promised annual income.

Both the NZR and NZRPA agree that it is imperative that there is enough money available to keep the salaries of New Zealand’s top players competitive and for the country to continue to retain talent.

New Zealand Rugby Players Association boss, Rob Nichol.  Photos / Photosport
New Zealand Rugby Players Association boss, Rob Nichol. Photos / Photosport

But the NZRPA has a different view to the NZR on the level of risk inherent in the proposal and it is these issues that need to be resolved in the follow-up mediation discussions planned for this week.

Silver Lake has not detailed its revenue growth plans. They have made an ambitious forecast based on a broad concept that effectively boils down to making money from an offshore All Blacks fan base that is believed to be as high as 65 million.

The NZRPA is not exactly anti-Silver Lake or underestimating its ability to make money as it says it can but needs to look in more detail to have more confidence.

The player body would also like to have a better understanding of how the NZR could reduce the risk of a deal not generating as much revenue as it had anticipated.

The proposal is for NZR to sell 15 percent of its future revenue but continue to be responsible for 100 percent of the costs of running the game.

If growth is not as high as forecast, the NZR could find itself with less, not more money as it will only have an 85 percent share of future revenue but still be responsible for meeting the fixed costs of playing players and provincial guilds.

The fear is that if income growth fails, the NZR could be forced to sell more assets to save.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive, Mark Robinson.  Photos / Photosport
New Zealand Rugby chief executive, Mark Robinson. Photos / Photosport

The NZRPA can negotiate to protect professional players from the downside, by including a clause that requires NZR to fulfill its agreed obligations to PPP.

But doing so would jeopardize the funding available for other parts of the game and would ultimately be catastrophic for everyone.

The two bodies, who spent Wednesday locked in mediation talks, are actually more in tune than has been described.

They agreed on the need to inject more capital into the game and found ways to use it to help foster and maintain community play.

However, they need to find ways to mitigate potential risks in such a way that they do not force larger sales or assets or jeopardize future investment at the grassroots.


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Easter travel restrictions eased, but tourists have Spanish nerves | Instant News

Tests in Barcelona bringing back live concerts. Photographer: LLUIS GENE / AFP via Getty Images Photographer: LLUIS GENE / AFP via Getty Images Spain’s economic love affair with tourism helped lift it out of the 2007-8 financial crisis and crisis in the euro zone that followed. But it has been an Achilles heel during the Covid-19 pandemic, with travel bans, quarantines and social distances limiting travel around the world. The country recorded a mind-boggling 11% contraction in gross domestic product last year, the worst since its civil war, after several waves of a pandemic and a failed attempt to save Christmas. Now that tourists are returning as some travel restrictions are lifted for Easter, Spain and the European Union are facing a critical test of how to bring infections under control, avoid another wasted summer, and long-term change in strategy. economies dependent on tourism. . Failure would leave deep scars. What draws German and French holidaymakers to places like Mallorca and Madrid is not just the sun, but the fact that Spain has so far this year done a good job of keeping epidemics under control without imposing general closures of cultural places and nightlife. Daily cases and deaths have fallen since January, even as many restaurants and bars remain open as regions set their own rules. Spain is hardly lax overall – there is a national curfew, restrictions on travel between regions, and PCR testing at the border – but for Europeans locked in, it’s Woodstock. Is Spain’s third wave running out? New cases of Covid-19 confirmed every day per million people (7-day moving average) Source: Our World In Data, European Center for Disease Prevention and Control Before having a summer of love, however, Spain must navigate Easter week. The temptation to start lifting restrictions to capture more tourism euros comes just as cases and deaths start to accelerate. Spain reported 356 deaths on Thursday, the highest figure in one day in three weeks, according to the daily El Pais, and its health ministry has warned of spikes in cases in several regions. Read more With doses of vaccine administered so far enough to cover 7.6% of its population, Spain cannot afford to let its guard down. Usama Bilal, assistant professor at the Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health, tells me Easter is Spain’s “last big hurdle” before the effects of the vaccination start to kick in. The problem is both the behavior of tourists and the repercussions this might have on confidence in social distancing rules as a whole. Foreigners are increasingly portrayed in the media as treating Spain like an amusement park, whether they throw indoor parties in Madrid or dance without a mask on the beach. Allow tourists to fly thousands of kilometers to visit the Prado Museum or the Alhambra Palace. “Why don’t we have the right to see our grandparents, but the French can come here and get drunk?” Celebrity chef Karlos Arguinano recently blasted on television. This is not the kind of combination that is useful in a pandemic. Without respect for the rules or a cautious approach, Daniel Lopez Acuna, assistant professor at the Andalusian school of public health, affirms that there is a real “question mark” on the sustainability of the reopening to tourists. Hoping for a year back Spain is set to record the biggest economic rebound in the euro zone this year Source: European Commission There is no easy fix here, judging by past pandemic clashes between the central government of Madrid and the regions. But the stakes are high. If warnings from epidemiologists about a fourth wave prove to be prophetic, the fallout will reverberate beyond Spain and into the EU. With the tourism industry normally accounting for around 12% of Spain’s GDP, another lost summer means greater economic disparity between eurozone members and additional economic scars for a country like Spain, according to Morgan economist Stanley Jacob Nell. The strength and consistency of the rules must be checked, but in the medium term Spain’s best hope is its vaccination campaign. According to data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, it has been instrumental in covering healthcare workers and the elderly in retirement homes, but its coverage of over 80s is only around 50%, which is the disappointing EU average. . According to Morgan Stanley, the bloc’s vaccine supply constraints will not fully ease until the third quarter, which means it is crucial to get through the next few months. finally thinks about their strategy. Pre-pandemic over-tourism of crowded city streets, stag parties and sky-high Airbnbs was one type of public health risk. The current state of under-tourism, or non-tourism, is also not healthy. There has been talk of “modernizing” Spanish tourism in terms of quality for some time. Perhaps this is the occasion – provided this Easter week doesn’t waste another summer in Europe, this column doesn’t necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners. the author of this story: Lionel Laurent at llaurent2 @ bloomberg.net To contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at [email protected] Before he’s here, it’s on the Bloomberg terminal. LEARN MORE .

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Will business travel return to normal after Covid? | Instant News

Joe Nocera is a Bloomberg opinion columnist covering business. He has written business columns for Esquire, GQ, and The New York Times, and is the former editorial director of Fortune. His latest project is the Bloomberg-Wondery podcast “The Shrink Next Door.” Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg As the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic continues, Bloomberg Opinion publishes a series of columns on crisis-inspired innovations that promise better long-term lives – more savings resilient, cleaner cities and healthier offices through more flexible e-commerce and five-star meal kits. I spend a lot of time with lawyers, so I can tell you with some authority that one aspect of their professional life was delighted during the pandemic. They have stopped stealing. Lawyers who spent most weeks moving from courtroom to courtroom were suddenly spending their time at home, communicating with their families for the first time in forever. Zoom and other conferencing applications. Status hearings that required travel across the country could now be completed from home in about an hour. Most depositions could also be done by Zoom. Yes, complex trials and large hearings would require lawyers to appear in person, but routine? Certainly not. Not a single lawyer I know of has said that they will ever return to the bad old days of nonstop travel. Airlines say there is pent-up demand for air travel among people who have been largely locked in their homes over the past year. I have no doubt about it. But you know how most people buy tickets – they try to buy them far enough in advance to pay as little as possible. Vacationers are important to airlines – but they’re nowhere near as important as business travelers, who often buy tickets at the last minute and are much less price sensitive because their airlines take note. According to travel software company Trondent Development Corp., business travelers make up 12% of the passenger base but 75% of airline profits. More than a lot of those benefits never come back. The law isn’t the only industry that has realized that much of its travel is unnecessary. Salespeople may need to travel to close a deal, but not for routine catch-ups with customers. Consultants can offer advice from their head office. Internal business meetings don’t really require the senior vice president of marketing to be from Chicago, San Francisco, or anywhere. The internet, through Netflix and other streaming services, has disrupted the television industry, causing profits to drop. Facebook and Google have decimated the newspaper industry. And now, thanks to Zoom and the pandemic, airlines are going to find out what it’s like to be disrupted. It won’t be fun for their shareholders or their employees. But it is inevitable. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners. To contact the author of this story: Joe Nocera at [email protected] To contact the responsible editor from this story: Daniel Niemi at [email protected] Before he’s here, it’s on the Bloomberg terminal. LEARN MORE Joe Nocera is a Bloomberg opinion columnist covering business. He has written business columns for Esquire, GQ, and The New York Times, and is the former editorial director of Fortune. His latest project is the Bloomberg-Wondery podcast “The Shrink Next Door”. Read more opinionFollow @opinion_joe on Twitter.

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