Dubai Airports chief backs Covid passports as ‘inevitable’

Covid passports are the only way to restart mass foreign travel, according to the head of Dubai Airports   

Chief executive Paul Griffiths described the documents as “inevitable”.

He told the BBC: “I don’t think there is an alternative.”

Critics of the digital systems argue they discriminate against those who cannot get vaccinated.

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But Griffiths said: I think the problem is not the vaccine passport and its discrimination. It’s the need to roll things out and have a proper globally equitable vaccine programme.

He wants numbers using the Dubai hub to rise again after the Covid crisis saw annual passenger through put fall 70% to 25.8  million last year from 86.3 million in 2019:

“We need to get into risk management rather than risk avoidance,” Griffiths added.

“I just don’t think the world can survive without that mobility for much longer, certainly socially and economically, but you can understand why countries around the world are being very conservative. The last thing any politician wants is a surge of infection on their turf.”

The United Arab Emirates saw its economy contracted by 6.1% in 2020 amid the global slowdown.

Griffiths said: “The city’s been built as a global hub and it’s enabled a tremendous commercial and tourism centre to be developed here in the UAE. 

“So we are pretty dependent, because at least 35% of GDP is based around the enablement of travel and tourism, so it has a big dramatic effect here.”

More: Government outlines details of NHS app ‘Covid passport’ usage

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