As restrictions begin to be lifted, the new normal will be revealed
THE CENTERS for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States yesterday announced for the first time, guidelines that ease restrictions for fully vaccinated people in private settings (See story here https://searchlight.vc/press-release/2021/03/09/cdc-eases-protocols-for-vaccinated-americans/ ).
The ease in restrictions, which also includes not having to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test if exposed to the virus, is like music to the ears for residents of the United States who have been in ‘lock down’ for an entire year.
The restrictions are limited and do not yet extend to public settings or medium to large gatherings, and the guidance to refrain from travelling remains in place.
As at yesterday’s date, 90 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in the United States, reaching 17.7% of the population.
As more people are vaccinated, it is only a matter of time before other restrictions are lifted, but more than likely, only for the fully vaccinated.
Health agencies in other countries are likely to follow suit in the lifting of restrictions as vaccination programs progress.
It is anticipated that with the current rate of 2.2 million vaccinations being administered every day, by summer, Americans may see a return to what they consider a normal life.
But what will not be normal, is that going forward, some activities will be limited to people who have been fully vaccinated.
Certainly, in the hospitality sector and other sectors that involve interaction with many people, employment may be limited to persons who have been vaccinated. It is not unreasonable to assume that cruise ships, resorts and hotels, when they reopen, will advertise that their properties are safe, as their staff members and all who enter their properties have
been fully vaccinated.
Already, some nations have already announced plans to drop quarantine requirements for tourists who can prove they have been innoculated.
The requirement to have been vaccinated against a particular disease as a condition of entry to a country is not new. Today, in order to enter 17 African nations, one must have been inoculated against yellow fever. A Covid-19 vaccination certificate may soon be added to the list of required documents to enter a foreign country.
The vaccine hesitant have been questioning the utility of taking the vaccine, if after getting the shot, one must still wear a mask, practice social distancing and go into quarantine when arriving in a country.
The reasons are now quite clear. These protocols are being kept in place out of an abundance of caution, until countries have fully vaccinated a sufficiently large percentage of their populations and community immunity has been achieved.
Taking the COVID-19 vaccine is a personal decision, but the decision not to be vaccinated is also a decision to limit the range of public activities one would be able to participate in going forward, and effectively a decision to slow the pace at which one’s country is able to return to some semblance of normalcy. Trust the science, make a decision that will see us moving quickly towards the re-opening of schools, the return of visitors, an increase in economic activity, larger congregations in church, and social gatherings of all kinds.