Germany Adds Travel Restrictions For Americans

Germany Adds Travel Restrictions For Americans

95

Germany is defying the European Union’s travel recommendations, and is adding travel restrictions against Americans.

Germany bans unvaccinated Americans

In mid-June, the European Union added the United States to its “safe travel” list. This was based on the low number of infections in the country at the time. With this, it was recommended that European Union countries welcome Americans regardless of vaccination status.

Despite the rising case numbers in the United States, the country has for now stayed on the European Union’s safe travel list. That’s not stopping individual countries from adding restrictions, though.

Germany has added the United States to its “high-risk” list as of Sunday, August 15, 2021, and as a result:

  • Travelers from the United States need to either be fully vaccinated, or demonstrate an “important reason” for entering the country, if they don’t want to quarantine
  • Unvaccinated travelers need to isolate for 10 days upon arrival in Germany, or that quarantine period can be reduced by testing five or more days after arriving in Germany; prior to this change, unvaccinated Americans could simply enter with a negative coronavirus test, with no need to quarantine
  • These restrictions aren’t based on citizenship or residency, but rather are based on having been in the United States (or another high-risk area) in the past 10 days
Germany has new restrictions for unvaccinated Americans

Will other countries follow Germany’s lead?

Over the past couple of weeks there have been discussions of the United States being taken off the European Union’s safe travel list:

  • Logically the United States should be taken off this list; we’re way above the published threshold for being considered “low-risk” at this point
  • That being said, the United States hasn’t yet been taken off the list, but this will be reconsidered in the next couple of weeks

The thing to keep in mind is that ultimately the European Union’s safe travel list is a non-binding recommendation for member countries. Here we’re seeing Germany going against European Union recommendations, which is fair enough. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more countries do something similar if the guidance doesn’t change soon.

Could other EU countries follow Germany’s lead?

Bottom line

Germany has banned unvaccinated Americans from visiting without a quarantine, despite the United States being on the European Union’s safe travel list. This it totally fair, since it’s not terribly logical for the US to still be on the safe travel list, when the country is above the published threshold. Ultimately the EU just provides recommendations, and doesn’t set the laws of individual countries when it comes to entry restrictions.

What do you make of Germany adding more travel restrictions, and do you think other EU countries will follow?

Conversations (95)
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  1. FPWdds

    Hey Alan, if you are able to read a recent research paper… I direct you to The Lancet
    Impact and effectiveness of mRNA BNT162b2 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations, and deaths following a nationwide vaccination campaign in Israel: an observational study using national surveillance data

    Eric J Haas, MD
    Frederick J Angulo, PhD
    John M McLaughlin, PhD
    Emilia Anis, MD
    Shepherd R Singer, MD
    Farid Khan,...

    Hey Alan, if you are able to read a recent research paper… I direct you to The Lancet
    Impact and effectiveness of mRNA BNT162b2 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations, and deaths following a nationwide vaccination campaign in Israel: an observational study using national surveillance data

    Eric J Haas, MD
    Frederick J Angulo, PhD
    John M McLaughlin, PhD
    Emilia Anis, MD
    Shepherd R Singer, MD
    Farid Khan, MPH
    et al.
    Show all authors
    Published:May 05, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00947-8

  2. Herman

    Everyone needs to stop crying about it and just get the vaccine, those that don't will wind up dead or dying. How is that even a choice?

    You can thank Biden for not allowing vaccinated Europeans into the country for these restrictions and closures. The US has a flood of infected Latinos coming into the country, that seems to be ok.

    Do what the *@#&@ your told and this whole pandemic can end.

  3. Rob

    I am just transitioning on my way to Moscow 9/1. Any problems for me

  4. D3kingg

    I’m going to Germany in two weeks. So I just need to bring my CDC vaccination card ? I have it laminated and paper clipped to my passport . What about coming back to the US ? Do I have to get a Covid test in Frankfurt before returning home ?

    1. Commenting Commenter

      Yup… You still need to get tested before coming back to the US: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html

    2. UA-NYC

      Everyone needs a Covid test prior to coming home to the US (assuming citizenship)

      Certain EU countries are opening up the digital pass (QR code) to foreign tourists...but it's a manual process to get.

  5. Always Flying Somewhere

    Poland has allowed only vaccinated travelers into the country without a quarantine requirement.

  6. Shutterbug

    Just about time. The next problem will be the "vaccinated" US travelers. The administration has unfortunately caved in to the pressure of anti-vaxxers and won't issue official digital and tamper-proof vaccination cards. More and more fake vaccination cards will be in circulation and we will face a growing number of "vaccinated" Americans who, on top of it, will trow a fit when asked to mask up when travelling in Europe.

  7. Points Adventure

    Covid politics has united DCS and UA-NYU for once. That's the only positive outcome so far.

    1. DCS

      Great observation. I was thinking exactly the same thing. In fact, I gave one of his comments the second 'like' that put it the 'Featured Comments'.

      Now, if he would just use the same judgment when it comes to picking his hotel loyalties or his fights about them... ;-)

    2. UA-NYC

      2020 election was the first one :)

      And no, beloved Starwood is gone but thankfully Hyatt has risen to the challenge of the best hotel loyalty program, bar none.

      Hilton Diamond...maybe better than Marriott these days I guess? Low bar...

    3. DCS

      Talk to me about Hyatt WOH when the program starts to give its elites the single most valuable perk in hotel loyalty: 5th award night free. I get more value out of single 5-night award stay at an 'aspirational Hilton property', like WA Maldives, than a Globalist would ever get a year from multiple award stays...

      G'day.

  8. Lori

    Yay...now the vaxed can travel with no fear of being exposed because of a non vax.

    1. Honkbert

      Satire, I hope.

      If not:

      Why would you be afraid of being exposed if the vaccine is effective?
      Why would you rather be exposed by a vaccinated person?
      Why would you rather sit next to a vaccinated person with unknown infection status than next to a non-infected non-vaccinated person? After all, at least they had to get tested to travel.

      Is the noble lie of sterilizing immunization still going strong? Or is...

      Satire, I hope.

      If not:

      Why would you be afraid of being exposed if the vaccine is effective?
      Why would you rather be exposed by a vaccinated person?
      Why would you rather sit next to a vaccinated person with unknown infection status than next to a non-infected non-vaccinated person? After all, at least they had to get tested to travel.

      Is the noble lie of sterilizing immunization still going strong? Or is the delusion strengthened because it would otherwise become abundantly clear how nonsensical it is to place more importance on vaccination status than infection status?

    2. DCS

      Why would you be afraid of being exposed if the vaccine is effective?

      Speaking of 'satire', you did not just ask that question for real!!!

      Stop! Stop! Stop!...because you are clueless!!!

    3. Honkbert

      Sorry, last time I checked, vaccines were still meant to protect you from disease.

    4. DCS

      Sorry, last time I checked, vaccines were still meant to protect you from disease.

      Hint: Yes, but as effective as these vaccines that were produced with unprecedented speed are, (a) they are not 100% effective (no vaccine has ever been), which is contrary to what you implied; and (b) they were developed for a different strain of the virus, so therefore they are less effective against strains that they were not specifically developed for. However,...

      Sorry, last time I checked, vaccines were still meant to protect you from disease.

      Hint: Yes, but as effective as these vaccines that were produced with unprecedented speed are, (a) they are not 100% effective (no vaccine has ever been), which is contrary to what you implied; and (b) they were developed for a different strain of the virus, so therefore they are less effective against strains that they were not specifically developed for. However, it is still quite remarkable that even then, the vaccines are still partially against new strains (e.g., Delta)!

      Stop spreading disinformation, because that is all you're doing since you are clearly clueless.

    5. Honkbert

      It would be silly for me to imply that a vaccine is 100% effective at protecting from disease and I don't think I have done so.

      My criticism of public health policies that claim to reduce transmission. A vaccine can be perfectly effective at protecting from disease, while not reducing transmission. When this is the case, the vaccine is said to provide non-sterilizing immunity.

      By no means have I implied that a lack of sterilizing...

      It would be silly for me to imply that a vaccine is 100% effective at protecting from disease and I don't think I have done so.

      My criticism of public health policies that claim to reduce transmission. A vaccine can be perfectly effective at protecting from disease, while not reducing transmission. When this is the case, the vaccine is said to provide non-sterilizing immunity.

      By no means have I implied that a lack of sterilizing immunity means that a vaccine is not effective. In fact, my whole argument is based on this distinction and I have explicitly pointed this out: "A vaccine can be effective at preventing symptoms and severe disease and not be effective at reducing transmission. This is the case with the COVID vaccines."

      Having to resort to insults and ad hominems doesn't help your argument and may even be perceived as helpless. Let's just be polite, shall we?

    6. Commenting Commenter

      By preventive and protecting against infections/disease, transmission is being reduced! Are you for real???

      Gosh… You would fail college miserably, certainly a logic class. And if you have one, it was given to you. No child left behind…

      You're obviously a troll, as this cannot possibly be a regular human being. That or you have a deficiency.

    7. Honkbert

      Thanks for your concern.

      I can only conclude from your remarks that you are unfamiliar with the concept of non-sterilizing immunity. It might well be worth looking it up, but maybe a little disturbing because you may start to question some policies once you think them through.

      A vaccine can be perfectly efficient at preventing disease without reducing or, at least, without eliminating transmission. It may sound crazy to you - but it's true!

      Don't...

      Thanks for your concern.

      I can only conclude from your remarks that you are unfamiliar with the concept of non-sterilizing immunity. It might well be worth looking it up, but maybe a little disturbing because you may start to question some policies once you think them through.

      A vaccine can be perfectly efficient at preventing disease without reducing or, at least, without eliminating transmission. It may sound crazy to you - but it's true!

      Don't worry: it really doesn't seem to matter whether these policies make much sense in terms of mitigation. If you find that holding onto the belief that all vaccines provide sterilizing immunity calms you, so be it.

      I would also prefer things to be that simple, I just find it hard to look away when the evidence unequivocally points in another direction.

    8. DCS

      Would you just quit trying to make a case that is just so ridiculous to make only Trumpistas would make it with straight faces when people are dying. Vaccines save lives and always have. Saying that the Pfizer vaccine is 'only' 42% against the Delta variant is ignorant: the Pfizer vaccine was not designed for the Delta variant, therefore, the fact that it is whopping 42% effective (this is not even a settled issue) against...

      Would you just quit trying to make a case that is just so ridiculous to make only Trumpistas would make it with straight faces when people are dying. Vaccines save lives and always have. Saying that the Pfizer vaccine is 'only' 42% against the Delta variant is ignorant: the Pfizer vaccine was not designed for the Delta variant, therefore, the fact that it is whopping 42% effective (this is not even a settled issue) against it is simply remarkable.

      You just need to educate yourself instead of wasting your time writing garbage here. I will provide a complete traitrise on the past, present and future of vaccines sponsored by the US National Academies. In it you'll learn how arduous it is to make and get vaccines approved, and might be surprise to lean that vaccines do actually work when people cooperate!

      After World War II, remarkable advances were made in the development of vaccines for other diseases. Such developments were made possible by better understanding of the microorganisms involved, advances in immunology, and the use of cell culture techniques for the propagation of viruses. In rapid succession, viral vaccines were developed for the control of poliomyelitis, measles, rubella, and mumps. Safe, effective vaccines were developed for use under special circumstances in individuals in jeopardy from rabies (replacing older vaccines made from central nervous system tissues of animals), adenovirus infections, meningococcal disease, and others.

      It is clear that vaccines widely employed as public health measures in the United States and other industrialized countries have had an enormous impact on morbidity and mortality. Major achievements include the following:17,18

      -- The last confirmed cases of smallpox were reported in 1977; in May 1980, the World Health Organization announced global eradication of smallpox.17
      -Reported U.S. rubella cases dropped from 57,686 cases with 29 deaths in 1969 to 2,325 cases and 4 deaths in 1982.
      -- The incidence of measles in the United States decreased from 894,134 reported cases with more than 2,250 deaths in 1941 to 1,497 reported cases and 2 deaths in 1983.
      -- The incidence of mumps in the United States dropped from 150,000 reported cases in 1968 to fewer than 3,500 reported cases in 1983.
      -- The average incidence of diphtheria in the United States between 1980 and 1984 was 3 cases per year with 1 or no deaths. In contrast, in the late 1950s the number of reported cases averaged more than 1,000 per year with about 75 deaths per year.
      -- Reported U.S. tetanus cases and deaths dropped steadily from a high of 601 cases in 1948 to fewer than 95 cases in 1983.
      -- Paralytic poliomyelitis, which afflicted more than 57,000 persons in the U.S. in 1952, is now a rarity; fewer than 4 cases were reported in 1984.
      -- The incidence of pertussis in the United States dropped from a high of 265,269 reported cases with more than 7,500 deaths in 1934, to fewer than 2,000 cases with only 4 deaths in 1982.18

      Much of the success in the United States can be attributed to the high levels of vaccination among young children that result from the school immunization laws. In the developing world, only about 30 percent of children are vaccinated.

      I am done here.

    9. Commenting Commenter

      Right, that and QAnon…

  9. Two Scoops

    The headline needs to be corrected. There is no ban on unvaccinated Americans, just a requirement that they quarantine on arrival.

    1. Tobias

      Not quite correct. Germany has removed the US from the list of countries for which no travel restrictions apply (see https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/faqs/EN/topics/civil-protection/coronavirus/travel-restrictions-border-control/IV-restrictions-applying-to-air-and-sea-travel-outside-of-europe/what-restrictions-are-in-place-on-air-and-sea-travel.html). If you aren't fully vaccinated, you may only enter Germany for very important reasons and must quarantine for at least five days.

      Not quite correct. Germany has removed the US from the list of countries for which no travel restrictions apply (see https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/faqs/EN/topics/civil-protection/coronavirus/travel-restrictions-border-control/IV-restrictions-applying-to-air-and-sea-travel-outside-of-europe/what-restrictions-are-in-place-on-air-and-sea-travel.html). If you aren't fully vaccinated, you may only enter Germany for very important reasons and must quarantine for at least five days.

    2. Never In Doubt

      The headline doesn't mention a ban. Maybe your glasses need cleaning?

  10. NYGuy24

    Makes sense. It was rather foolish to let unvaccinated Americans in to begin with. I suspect that we will begin to see the rest of the EU follow suit.

  11. Robin

    Individual country activities are becoming meaningless. This is a global pandemic. All nations should just focus on getting as many doses of Astrazeneca out and isolating the super vulnerable, not everyone, before we get a Spanish flu variant of COVID which would make what we have been through a picnic. Might as well ask Dr Who for all the good the WHO is. There is also the wider issue of countries printing money and spending...

    Individual country activities are becoming meaningless. This is a global pandemic. All nations should just focus on getting as many doses of Astrazeneca out and isolating the super vulnerable, not everyone, before we get a Spanish flu variant of COVID which would make what we have been through a picnic. Might as well ask Dr Who for all the good the WHO is. There is also the wider issue of countries printing money and spending it without abandon to "ride this out" while their economies tank and we slide back into a new dark ages. Without global coordination COVID will run rampant and is.

    1. Alan

      Unfortunately evidence is starting to show the vaccines themselves may create new mutations themselves. The following article is quite long so for a summary just skip to the tables at the end.

      https://www.geertvandenbossche.org/post/c-19-pandemia-quo-vadis-homo-sapiens

  12. Donna

    Since the current wave of hospitalizations and deaths in America is driven by the unvaccinated, in this country where vaccine access is readily available and the vaccine is free to all, the German policy is both fair and responsible. Finally, responsible Americans who are fully vaccinated will not be punished as a result of those who refuse.

    1. Honkbert

      Public health policies should be about public health first and foremost, not about punishing people or not.

      A policy more concerned with vaccination status than infection status is ill-designed for reducing community transmission of a seasonal respiratory virus for which only vaccines providing non-sterilizing immunity exist, turning herd immunity into a pipe dream.

      If transmission were "driven by the unvaccinated", you would expect more cases/inhabitants in India, home of the Delta variant, with its low...

      Public health policies should be about public health first and foremost, not about punishing people or not.

      A policy more concerned with vaccination status than infection status is ill-designed for reducing community transmission of a seasonal respiratory virus for which only vaccines providing non-sterilizing immunity exist, turning herd immunity into a pipe dream.

      If transmission were "driven by the unvaccinated", you would expect more cases/inhabitants in India, home of the Delta variant, with its low vaccination rate than in the US and you would expect the least cases in countries with the highest vaccination rates. This is not the case. In fact, the countries with the highest vaccination rates happen to be those with the highest incidences: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html

      These facts are willfully ignored, propelled by an attitude of moral superiority towards the unvaccinated devils (a large majority of people on this planet) who deserve punishment because "something needs to be done", convinced that this is rational behaviour backed by "the science".

      Banning non-infectious people from travel, while admitting infectious people, as long as they are vaccinated, is illogical, punitive, and arbitrary. This is made most obvious by ignoring the naturally immune who, despite having the most comprehensive and enduring immune response, are placed in the "non-vaccinated" category six months post-infection, unless they get vaccinated.

    2. DCS

      Transmission is driven by the unvaccinated because they are most likely to be infected. This appeared 4 days ago in the Washington Post:

      Most severe covid cases, deaths in DMV region are among the unvaccinated
      By
      Jenna Portnoy
      August 11, 2021 at 7:36 p.m. EDT

      The vast majority of severe illnesses and deaths from the coronavirus in the Washington region are occurring among those who haven’t gotten vaccinated. And breakthrough cases...

      Transmission is driven by the unvaccinated because they are most likely to be infected. This appeared 4 days ago in the Washington Post:

      Most severe covid cases, deaths in DMV region are among the unvaccinated
      By
      Jenna Portnoy
      August 11, 2021 at 7:36 p.m. EDT

      The vast majority of severe illnesses and deaths from the coronavirus in the Washington region are occurring among those who haven’t gotten vaccinated. And breakthrough cases of covid-19 among those who are inoculated are likely to be less severe and not require hospitalization.

      In Maryland, unvaccinated people make up about 96 percent of covid-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths, according to state data.

      The same is true in Virginia, where 99 percent of covid-19 infections, 97 percent of hospitalizations and 98 percent of deaths are occurring among the unvaccinated, according to state data.

      Also, could you speculate on why TX, FL, LA account for most new daily cases?

      It's time you stop pontificating about matters you clearly know very little about.

    3. John

      Is this true? Or do the vaccinated just not get tested anymore, and thus we don't know if they are positive for COVID-19 or not? What I DO know is that the vaccinated are now the ones running around without masks, having large gatherings, and continue being their nasty selves and not washing their hands or covering their mouths. Remember when the "most dangerous people" were the asymptomatic ones? So who is *actually* the one spreading COVID?

    4. DCS

      Sounds like something that the "Former Guy" would say: "There are more COVID cases among the unvaxxed because they get tested more! If they did not get tested so damned much, the virus would just go away!"

      Just look at the stats. They could be wrong by a wide margin and it would still be true that the unvaxxed are, by the far, the biggest spreaders. In fact, many unvaxxed don't even get tested (my...

      Sounds like something that the "Former Guy" would say: "There are more COVID cases among the unvaxxed because they get tested more! If they did not get tested so damned much, the virus would just go away!"

      Just look at the stats. They could be wrong by a wide margin and it would still be true that the unvaxxed are, by the far, the biggest spreaders. In fact, many unvaxxed don't even get tested (my freedom!), so the stats are quite likely under-counting them. The fact remains that unvaxxed make up 90%+ of all hospitalization cases, which cannot be fudged because those are people who refused to get vaxxed (or were skeptical) and then got hit and had to be hauled in. Life (vax) is a bitch and then you die!

      Lastly, to see the light, just explain to yourself why TX, FL, LA account for most new daily cases...

    5. John

      Oh, my apologies. I didn't realize that the vaccinated were still getting tested consistently and moreso than the unvaccinated, as you imply. That makes so much sense, right? Obviously.

      I also still don't see the light. Can you explain how Iceland, Israel, etc all have north of an 80% vaccinated population...and yet are still seeing the largest increase in positive covid cases? Wait, I thought you said the unvaccinated were the ones spreading the virus...

    6. DCS

      Who knows what vaccines are available elsewhere? They could have China's SINOVAC or the Russian Federation's 'Sputnik', whose effectiveness is dubious compared to Pfizer's or Moderna's vacccines that are available in the US. Just look at the evidence all around you in this country ("Llook Ma, no lockdowns!") and be self-aware enough to know when you make no sense and can it once and for all.

    7. UA-NYC

      You sound like an anti-vaxxer. News flash - the vaccinated aren't the problem at this point.

    8. Honkbert

      Can you transmit if you are vaccinated? You definitely can with the Delta variant. Therefore, a negatively tested non-vaccinated person will always pose a smaller risk than a positively tested vaccinated person. Infection matters: you need to have the virus to spread it. The question of who "drives" transmission is secondary when it comes to my individual risk, as an infectious vaccinated person can infect me, while a non-infectious non-vaccinated person can't.

      I really hope...

      Can you transmit if you are vaccinated? You definitely can with the Delta variant. Therefore, a negatively tested non-vaccinated person will always pose a smaller risk than a positively tested vaccinated person. Infection matters: you need to have the virus to spread it. The question of who "drives" transmission is secondary when it comes to my individual risk, as an infectious vaccinated person can infect me, while a non-infectious non-vaccinated person can't.

      I really hope that this should be obvious. Imagine randomly assigning non-vaccinated people to a plane and vaccinated people to another plane. The plane full of negatively tested non-vaccinated people will have less infectious people on board than the plane full of non-tested vaccinated people - even in case there are less infections in the population the passengers of the "vaccinated" plane are drawn from. Why? Because we can safely assume that the false positive rate of a test is much smaller than the incidence in the vaccinated population. Remember: we're dealing with non-sterilizing vaccines. It is simply to be expected that people who got vaccinated get infected. That's not uncommon with vaccines and it is not a big deal, as long as the vaccines prevent symptoms.

      The question remains, how common transmission from and among the vaccinated is - or if transmission is "driven by the unvaccinated". Again: this is a secondary issue when I'm dealing with non-vaccinated people who tested negatively because they will pose the smaller risk than vaccinated people with unknown or positive infection status.

      I don't see how your claim that "transmission is driven by the unvaccinated" can be reconciled with countries with low vaccination rates, such as India or Albania, having lower incidences than countries with high vaccination rates - and vice versa: if "transmission is driven by the unvaccinated", I don't see how this can be reconciled with countries with high vaccination rates having high incidences (e.g. Iceland, Malta, Israel, Gibraltar). Obviously, it can't be that straightforward. Unfortunately, you chose not to address these points in your reply.

      That unvaccinated people have a higher share of severe cases and deaths is to be expected if the vaccines work. I wouldn't argue with that. When it comes to the question how much the vaccinated contribute to transmission, any infection that can be transmitted matters, even if asymptomatic. When dealing with non-sterile vaccines and a population with a high vaccination rate, it is even to be expected that the vaccinated drive transmission, as there will hardly be any non-vaccinated people who could. As long as the vaccines do their job, this is of little concern for the vaccinated, as they will not become symptomatic.

      I 'm not surprised that almost all PCR positive tests are among the unvaccinated, as the vaccinated are generally not required to test, while the unvaccinated have to routinely get tested, irrespective of showing symptoms. As long as the vaccines works, they are unlikely to become symptomatic and would have no reason to get tested. I am also aware of hospital policies requiring all unvaccinated patients to be tested on admission, while vaccinated patients are exempt. Hospitalized vaccinated patients would then only be tested in case they show typical symptoms of COVID. Finally, sometimes the share of positive PCR tests is calculated over the beginning of vaccinations or even since COVID first appeared. Justin Trudeau seems to have done so when claiming that less than 1% of cases are among the fully vaccinated. This doesn't really align with their current share in Ontario (97 (18%) fully vaccinated, 67 (13%) partially vaccinated, and 350 (68%) unvaccinated). If your calculation include periods when nobody or few people were vaccinated, you will necessarily end up with a very low share of vaccinated people. Plus: "breakthrough" cases are a very recent phenomenon, linked to the Delta variant. A calculation done over the whole period my thus give little valuable information about the current contribution of vaccinated people to transmission.

      There is a recent Lancet preprint out on "Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Delta Variant Among Vaccinated Healthcare Workers, Vietnam", concluding "Breakthrough Delta variant infections are associated with high viral loads, prolonged PCR positivity, and low levels of vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies, explaining the transmission between the vaccinated people. Physical distancing measures remain critical to reduce SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant transmission." https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3897733

      On the NYT website, LA, MS, and FL have the most cases/inhabitants. When you want me to speculate, I assume you want me to link that to vaccinations? LA and MS have among the lowest vaccinations rates, while FL is in the middle. Honestly, from this information alone, I don't see a clear picture.

      I don't want make any definitive claims on the contribution of vaccinated people to transmission. However, that the countries with the highest vaccination rates globally happen to be the ones with the highest incidence rates, tells me that they must play a significant role, at least since Delta appeared. Conversely, the existence of countries with low vaccination rates and low incidences also seems incompatible with the claim that "the unvaccinated drive transmission". These observations are corroborated by the CDC report from Massachusetts, the recent report from Public Health England, and the Lancet Preprint from Vietnam (among others).

      Ultimately, the question of how important a role vaccinated people play for transmission is of little significance, as long as it is not negligible - which it clearly isn't, when it comes to health policies that ban non-infected non-vaccinated people, while admitting infected vaccinated people.

      Infected people will always be more important to transmission than non-infected people because they contribute zero.

      Non-sterilizing immunization means that infectious vaccinated exist. It's silly to think that they would contribute less to transmission than demonstrably non-infectious non-vaccinated people.

      If you consider yourself more competent on the subject matter, you would certainly be more convincing if you actually applied these competencies to address an argument, rather than belittling me with denigrating remarks. This only makes you look like a bully.

    9. Towelie

      Lines in the US are sometimes several miles long just to get tested. A good majority of those who have COVID will not wait hours in line to get tested just for a diagnosis, like myself. Look at what happened in New York last year, the number of deaths compared to those that tested positive was sky high. You honestly think that the testing situation in India is any better, even now?

      Of course the...

      Lines in the US are sometimes several miles long just to get tested. A good majority of those who have COVID will not wait hours in line to get tested just for a diagnosis, like myself. Look at what happened in New York last year, the number of deaths compared to those that tested positive was sky high. You honestly think that the testing situation in India is any better, even now?

      Of course the countries with the highest vaccination rates are the ones with the highest incidence rate, they have better testing capabilities. Your logic works on paper, but this is reality.

    10. Honkbert

      So India has both less cases and deaths than the US because they don't get the counting right?

      The fact that countries with the highest vaccination rates have the highest incidences is due to them having better testing capabilities? So countries like Iceland must have only gained these testing capabilities after vaccinating people and then they started testing them more than before? OK.

    11. Towelie

      Yes, when a country mandates testing as they open up restrictions and allow travel then the volume of tests increases.

      https://www.icelandreview.com/ask-ir/whats-the-status-of-covid-19-in-iceland/

    12. Honkbert

      Quoting Iceland's chief epidemiologist from your source:

      "What has happened in the past two to three weeks is that the Delta variant has taken over all other variants in Iceland. And it has come to light that vaccinated individuals can contract it relatively easily and spread infection."

      https://www.icelandreview.com/society/covid-19-in-iceland-vaccination-has-not-led-to-herd-immunity-says-chief-epidemiologist/

      This doesn't sound like he attributes higher incidence to an artefact due to travellers testing positive or that he considers transmission in vaccinated people a rare event.

      Quoting Iceland's chief epidemiologist from your source:

      "What has happened in the past two to three weeks is that the Delta variant has taken over all other variants in Iceland. And it has come to light that vaccinated individuals can contract it relatively easily and spread infection."

      https://www.icelandreview.com/society/covid-19-in-iceland-vaccination-has-not-led-to-herd-immunity-says-chief-epidemiologist/

      This doesn't sound like he attributes higher incidence to an artefact due to travellers testing positive or that he considers transmission in vaccinated people a rare event.

    13. Alan

      Clearly there are very few like minded individuals like us on this blog. They will undoubtedly never understand how a leaky vaccine will never achieve herd immunity nor understand the EUA was to prevent infection. The trials were not conducted to see if the vaccines prevented severe covid or death and in fact they never did demonstrate that. You are a much better writer than I and I continue to learn from your posts.

    14. Honkbert

      I know. That's how it goes. You dial up the fear to max and keep it up. Eventually, people will process information only peripherally and rely on cues from the group and heuristics, even those people who would otherwise be fully capable to comprehend the subject matter under non-threat conditions.

      I'm convinced that it really isn't about comprehension. Once a state of moral panic is achieved, things tend to just go their way. More often...

      I know. That's how it goes. You dial up the fear to max and keep it up. Eventually, people will process information only peripherally and rely on cues from the group and heuristics, even those people who would otherwise be fully capable to comprehend the subject matter under non-threat conditions.

      I'm convinced that it really isn't about comprehension. Once a state of moral panic is achieved, things tend to just go their way. More often than not, there is no happy ending.

      Thank you. It was worth it for me then.

    15. Alan

      You may find the following article quite interesting. Most of those posting here will immediately ignore it at their own peril.

      https://www.geertvandenbossche.org/post/c-19-pandemia-quo-vadis-homo-sapiens

  13. Another Lump

    Ok sure, but maybe we should restrict our military being there too. I mean, we just cut and run from Afghanistan bc ppl wanted our troops home, but why do we still have 10s of thousands in Germany protecting the EU after 75 years? They can protect themselves.

    1. Never In Doubt

      We get it, you don't like the vaccine and react irrationally to requirements for it.

      But to reach for US troop levels in Germany? That's next level nonsense.

  14. Bob

    Good policy. All countries should require vaccination for entry.

    That said, how about an accurate headline, Ben? "Germany Adds Travel Restrictions for Unvaccinated Americans."

    Leave the clickbait headlines to Gary / VFTW.

  15. UA-NYC

    Bravo Germany! Hope the other EU member states follow its lead.

  16. Santastico

    Vaccine cards??? Is that a joke? Do they know the dinosaur in the White House has opened the southern border where there is no law?
    https://www.cnn.com/cnn/2021/08/14/us/memphis-fake-vaccination-cards-us-border-patrol/index.html

    1. DCS

      You're mistaken. I believe you meant to say that "The Troll is at 1100 S Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach, FL 33480." ;-)

    2. AdamH

      You can print a vaccination card on a home printer with some heavier paper you buy at a Staples (don't forget your Ink for 5x points). I don't get why folks are so worked up about a story like that. There are no security features, etc. to a vaccination card. If the government wants to be serious about vaccines and mandating vaccines they need to implement policies similar to states like CA and LA (surprisingly)...

      You can print a vaccination card on a home printer with some heavier paper you buy at a Staples (don't forget your Ink for 5x points). I don't get why folks are so worked up about a story like that. There are no security features, etc. to a vaccination card. If the government wants to be serious about vaccines and mandating vaccines they need to implement policies similar to states like CA and LA (surprisingly) that allow for easy digital vaccination records to be generated/authenticated.

    3. Never In Doubt

      I wouldn’t worry about it.

      The Venn diagram of US anti-vaxxers who are desperate to travel to Germany (or almost anywhere outside the US) without quarantining are two completely separate circles.

    4. Honkbert

      The greatest vaccine hesitancy is among ethnic minorities, and in PhDs, according to this online survey: https://unherd.com/thepost/the-most-vaccine-hesitant-education-group-of-all-phds/

      But I suppose as long as the right people still get to travel to Germany without quarantining, it doesn't matter if they infect others, as long as they are vaccinated.

    5. Never In Doubt

      Unless you're a German citizen worried about your own government's policy, you seem to be unreasonably upset about something that's unlikely to effect you.

      And you must be new to trolling (or just very bad at it) if you're reaching for "an online poll says this".

    6. Honkbert

      I don't see why you should be the arbiter of which of my concerns are reasonable and whether the German government's policies will affect me.

      That vaccine hesitancy has an ethnic/racial gradient is rather well established in the medical literature. Take the online survey as bonus information of questionable methodical rigour.

      I must have overlooked that you provided solid evidence showing that the people who choose not to be vaccinated in the US can all...

      I don't see why you should be the arbiter of which of my concerns are reasonable and whether the German government's policies will affect me.

      That vaccine hesitancy has an ethnic/racial gradient is rather well established in the medical literature. Take the online survey as bonus information of questionable methodical rigour.

      I must have overlooked that you provided solid evidence showing that the people who choose not to be vaccinated in the US can all be placed in the category "anti-vaxxers" and that nobody in this group has any intention of travelling to Germany. Since you're so critical of survey methodology, I'm sure you wouldn't have just made up your Venn diagram and I take your word for it that it would pass peer review with flying colours.

    7. Never In Doubt

      Who's arbitrating?

      I'm calling out your trolling!

    8. DCS

      If the government wants to be serious about vaccines and mandating vaccines they need to implement policies similar to states like CA and LA (surprisingly) that allow for easy digital vaccination records to be generated/authenticated.

      Add NY State to that list... I just got my NY State Excelsior Pass Plus online yesterday. Can make hard a copy of it, or get it digitally right on your mobile device by simply installing the NY State Excelsior...

      If the government wants to be serious about vaccines and mandating vaccines they need to implement policies similar to states like CA and LA (surprisingly) that allow for easy digital vaccination records to be generated/authenticated.

      Add NY State to that list... I just got my NY State Excelsior Pass Plus online yesterday. Can make hard a copy of it, or get it digitally right on your mobile device by simply installing the NY State Excelsior Pass Plus.

      This coming week, I will be getting my CLEAR Health Pass for my upcoming trip to HNL. I could not get it online because of a snafu related to my already having CLEAR through UA as a 1K that requires me to call customer support.

  17. Never In Doubt

    Travel restrictions for *unvaccinated* Americans.

    But I salute the effort for more clicks. Got me.

  18. Uri

    Ban’em!

    I hope the rest of the world follows.

  19. John

    What about the vaccinated people that are infected and spreading the coronavirus now that they are effectively asymptomatic - are they allowed in, no questions asked, as long as they show proof of being vaccinated?

    1. UA-NYC

      As long as there is Covid, there will be some spread.

      But an easy way to cut down the most virulent transmissions & cause of hospital overwhelming is to not allow those in who can't be bothered to look after their fellow citizens during a pandemic, and do something billions of other people globally have already done.

      As always, 'Murican anti-vaxxers are free to hit up Branson, Galveston, Daytona, and many other fantastic places.

    2. John

      I don't understand. This is not an American problem or anti-vax problem. The US could have 100% vaccination and it wouldn't matter because the rest of world is not. Some countries have 5% vaccination rates. It's just a matter of time before there is a strain that ignores our vaccines since viruses will evolve to survive...oh wait, there's lambda.

    3. UA-NYC

      Much of the ROW isn't going to Germany w/the frequency of Americans, given our size + relative wealth. And other countries have caught up or are surpassing US vax rates, given that they don't have ~25% of their population who are anti-vaxxers buying into Tucker Carlson-led fake news.

      Anti-vaxxers will keep being excluded from more and more events and aspects of life...good riddance.

    4. Commenting Commenter

      Most of these people have never set foot on an airplane and never will. They're not interesting in anything outside of the US and are total xenophobes and terrified of going anywhere outside the US.

    5. Alan

      There is little to no evidence to show that the vaccines provide any additional protection against hospitalization/death after a breakthrough infection. The most recent data from Israel is confirming this.
      https://drrollergator.substack.com/p/are-cases-decoupled-from-deaths

    6. Jimmy Gottfredson

      Most government policies aren’t about completely eliminating a potential threat (which usually requires more draconian measures), but reducing the risk to “acceptable” levels. Although individuals could still enter the country infected after completing their vaccinations, the risk is significantly reduced.

    7. Honkbert

      Sorry, but you can’t go below zero.

      A non-infected non-vaccinated person poses zero risk.

      An infected vaccinated person poses a non-zero risk.

      Risk of transmission is determined by infection status to a much larger degree than by vaccination status.

      I must say I find it pretty incredible that this even needs to be spelt out.

    8. DCS

      Risk of transmission is determined by infection status to a much larger degree than by vaccination status.

      What is you point? What do you think best moderates or modulates (read: limits) 'infection status'?

      Honk if you think @Honkbert is wrong on all counts...

      HONK!!!

    9. Honkbert

      Non-infection, obviously, is the greatest modulator of them all. A non-infected non-vaccinated person clearly is less infectious (= not at all) than an infected vaccinated person, even if you assume that vaccination reduces infectiousness

      It is utterly bizarre that we have come to the point that "non-vaccinated" is considered synonymous with "infectious".

      You should worry about infection in others, not whether they are vaccinated. I'd much rather sit next to a test-negative non-vaccinated person than...

      Non-infection, obviously, is the greatest modulator of them all. A non-infected non-vaccinated person clearly is less infectious (= not at all) than an infected vaccinated person, even if you assume that vaccination reduces infectiousness

      It is utterly bizarre that we have come to the point that "non-vaccinated" is considered synonymous with "infectious".

      You should worry about infection in others, not whether they are vaccinated. I'd much rather sit next to a test-negative non-vaccinated person than a non-tested vaccinated person, particularly if they can't stop coughing (as has actually happened to me).

      Why? The vaccinated person who wasn't tested poses a much greater potential risk. Only if I had to choose between two positively tested people, I may prefer sitting next to the vaccinated person, as they may have a lower viral load (though even that now seems to be far from certain).

      Yes: a brand new Volvo is a safer car than a Yugo. However, having certainty or near-certainty of not crashing into a wall at 50 mph (negative test) is still the safer option, irrespective of car make, than risking a crash in a Volvo with a steering column in an unknown functional state (no test).

      Under the current rules, even a Volvo with faulty breaks and steering (symptomatic, coughing hard, etc.) is considered safer for the road than a Yugo that has undergone a proper inspection.

      I attribute this to thinking in moral categories (unvaccinated = "dirty"), rather than assessing the actual risks. With 18 months of endless fear porn, this is to be expected.

      If the vaccines provided sterile or near-sterile immunization, discriminating by vaccination status would be justifiable on the grounds of a vaccinated person never or near-never posing a greater risk than a non-vaccinated person. Since the vaccines don't provide sterile immunity, it really isn't very helpful to simply keep pretending that they do, blame it on the "unvaccinated" because "something must be done" and it must all be somebody's fault.

      Given that we now know that with Delta the vaccinated can transmit the virus and even have similar viral loads, a tested non-vaccinated person will always pose a smaller risk than a non-tested vaccinated person.

      Choose the properly inspected Yugo over the Volvo if the former is certain not to crash into a wall, while the latter might have a broken steering column.

      A vaccine can be effective at preventing symptoms and severe disease and not be effective at reducing transmission. This is the case with the COVID vaccines. It should really be rather obvious then that your main concern should be with someone's infection status, not their vaccination status.

      Honk: honk for logic! And try to overcome your fear of folk devils.

    10. DCS

      This is not that complicated. The best, maybe the only, way to limit how many people are infected (i.e., non-infection) is to vaccinate. Period. It is a time-tested concept that even the current pandemic supports. Before the vaccines, people were dying left and right, and pretty much everything around the country/globe was shuttered. After the vaccines, there is enough confidence in them that even with the Delta variant spreading at a brisker pace than any...

      This is not that complicated. The best, maybe the only, way to limit how many people are infected (i.e., non-infection) is to vaccinate. Period. It is a time-tested concept that even the current pandemic supports. Before the vaccines, people were dying left and right, and pretty much everything around the country/globe was shuttered. After the vaccines, there is enough confidence in them that even with the Delta variant spreading at a brisker pace than any other variant, previously hard-hit cities like NYC that now have relatively large proportions of vaccinated, are not rushing to reimpose lockdowns or other mandates.

      On the other hand, FL and TX should be back on lockdowns and to wearing masks! That is the price they must pay for thumbing their collective nose at the vaccines. Does the DeSantis care that Floridians are dying? Of course, not. He's got his eyes on the Mantle of Trump and the presidency!

    11. Honkbert

      Sounds a little apodictic to me, but if you say so, I suppose it must be true.

      I appreciate you taking a broad interest in the subject of vaccines, as I do so myself.

      However, for the purposes of this discussion, I would like to get back to my original argument, one last time. Hopefully, this will make it salient.

      To discriminate based on vaccination status is an illogical, punitive, and arbitrary measure in case...

      Sounds a little apodictic to me, but if you say so, I suppose it must be true.

      I appreciate you taking a broad interest in the subject of vaccines, as I do so myself.

      However, for the purposes of this discussion, I would like to get back to my original argument, one last time. Hopefully, this will make it salient.

      To discriminate based on vaccination status is an illogical, punitive, and arbitrary measure in case of a vaccine providing non-sterilizing immunity.

      Why? Because you need to be infected to infect others. A non-vaccinated non-infected person can infect others, while a vaccinated person can be infected and infect others.

      Whether transmission is driven by the unvaccinated or the vaccinated and to what degree is open to research and debate.

      One thing is for sure, though: transmission is always driven be the infected.

      Unless you're dealing with a sterile vaccine, it makes no sense to equate vaccination with sterility. Therefore, it makes much more sense to reduce the number of infectious people entering the country, rather than reducing the number of unvaccinated people.

      It appears that you don't find this reasoning convincing, so I'll just leave it at that and maybe we can agree to disagree on this question.

    12. Doug

      What you are saying makes sense, a negative unvaccinated person cannot transmit the virus, but a positive vaccinated person can.Thus testing is more important than the vaccine. The reason they are discriminating against negative unvaccinated people is because they are trying to "force" people to take the vaccine, since they have done a poor job convincing people of the benefits vs risks of taking the vaccine. Don't bother trying to argue with some of the...

      What you are saying makes sense, a negative unvaccinated person cannot transmit the virus, but a positive vaccinated person can.Thus testing is more important than the vaccine. The reason they are discriminating against negative unvaccinated people is because they are trying to "force" people to take the vaccine, since they have done a poor job convincing people of the benefits vs risks of taking the vaccine. Don't bother trying to argue with some of the fools on this site who think that just because they took the vaccine they have the right to spread the virus and approve of discriminate as long as it doesn't affect them. BTW, I am not an antivax'er, I am pro mask and I am pro democracy and against discrimination based on vaccination status.

    13. Honkbert

      Wow, thanks. You almost single-handedly restored my faith in humanity.

      I also find it rather obvious that such policy decisions have an ulterior motive, given that they don't make any sense, otherwise.

      It seems like I pooped on people's hard-earned vaccination status benefits and they didn't take to it kindly. I'm aware of what this website is about and I share the interest in flying and travel loyalty schemes. From this perspective, it might well...

      Wow, thanks. You almost single-handedly restored my faith in humanity.

      I also find it rather obvious that such policy decisions have an ulterior motive, given that they don't make any sense, otherwise.

      It seems like I pooped on people's hard-earned vaccination status benefits and they didn't take to it kindly. I'm aware of what this website is about and I share the interest in flying and travel loyalty schemes. From this perspective, it might well be worth pointing out that some major changes to the programme's T&Cs are likely to be underway. Fauci doesn't rule out indefinite booster shots any longer. So it seems like this is turning into a lifetime subscription model without a get-out clause. Maybe everybody here is cool with that and willing to accept any amount of booster shots prescribed by the government and happy to play by the programme rules unconditionally to avoid a downgrade to "unvax" status, should no soft landing option be offered.

      I think it is equally silly to say "I'm against all vaccines", as it is to say "all vaccines are equally effective and safe". I'm pretty confident I have received an above-average amount of vaccinations. I don't have regrets and I am actually grateful for the protection they offer. So I wouldn't exactly consider myself an "anti-vaxxer".

      Though it seems that the qualification threshold was reduced significantly during the pandemic. According to the new rules, to move to the ranks of "anti-vaxxer", it is enough to apply an individual risk assessment, including age and other factors and to include a "no" option, rather than unconditionally accepting a lifetime auto-renewal membership with as yet undefined expiry periods, under an EUA, no less. Maybe it's because I'm not the naturally submissive type. Otherwise, I'd probably be in heaven, in permanent anticipation of the new conditions I will need to fulfill to be "free" to travel and such. Maybe I'd even get an extra kick from the obvious logical fallacies of the policies that were thought up.

      I was also rather fond of democracy and freedom (those were the days!) and a little dismayed that discriminating against people based on their vaccination status is considered the righteous thing to do now, despite the argument that the unvaccinated folk devils pose a great danger not even holding up because sterilizing immunization is nothing but a delusion, incessantly repeated, but feeling "real" to many, it seems.

    14. Alan

      One must consider more than just vaccines when comparing FL and TX to the northern states. In FL and TX people spend much of the summer entertaining indoors due to the heat and mosquitos. I lived in Miami years ago and summers were the off season. Now use Ohio as a contrast which has fewer cases per capita but a lower percent vaccinated. Clearly the vaccine is not making all the difference. We should know...

      One must consider more than just vaccines when comparing FL and TX to the northern states. In FL and TX people spend much of the summer entertaining indoors due to the heat and mosquitos. I lived in Miami years ago and summers were the off season. Now use Ohio as a contrast which has fewer cases per capita but a lower percent vaccinated. Clearly the vaccine is not making all the difference. We should know a lot more this fall/winter when northerners gather more indoors. If a country truly wants to reduce infection coming from outside, testing and quarantine is the only solution. That one vaccinated infected traveler not tested can begin the next wave.

    15. UA-NYC

      Ohio also has an actual competent governor in DeWine who doesn't kowtow to the anti-vaxxing, anti-science hard right...you aren't seeing him advocate for withholding salaries of school administrators & teachers mandating masks, for example

    16. Alan

      The vaccines are not working well against preventing infection. Recent study shows Pfizer efficacy against delta to only be 42%. The latest data from Israel is also showing an increase in deaths even though over 80% percent of the population is fully vaccinated. Also google leaky vaccines which these are unlike smallpox, polio, etc.
      https://drrollergator.substack.com/p/are-cases-decoupled-from-deaths

    17. DCS

      Would just quit trying to make a case that is just so ridiculous to make only Trumpistas would make it with straight faces when people are dying. Vaccines save lives and always have. Saying that the Pfzier is 'only' 42% against the Delta variant is ignorant: the Pfizer vaccine was not designed for the Delta variant, therefore, the fact that it is whopping 42% effective (this is not even a settled issue) against it is...

      Would just quit trying to make a case that is just so ridiculous to make only Trumpistas would make it with straight faces when people are dying. Vaccines save lives and always have. Saying that the Pfzier is 'only' 42% against the Delta variant is ignorant: the Pfizer vaccine was not designed for the Delta variant, therefore, the fact that it is whopping 42% effective (this is not even a settled issue) against it is simply remarkable.

      You just need to educate yourself instead of wasting your time writing garbage here. I will provide a complete traitrise on the past, present and future of vaccines sponsored by the US National Academies. In it you'll learn how arduous it is to make and get vaccines approved, and might be surprise to lean that vaccines do actually work when people cooperate!

      After World War II, remarkable advances were made in the development of vaccines for other diseases. Such developments were made possible by better understanding of the microorganisms involved, advances in immunology, and the use of cell culture techniques for the propagation of viruses. In rapid succession, viral vaccines were developed for the control of poliomyelitis, measles, rubella, and mumps. Safe, effective vaccines were developed for use under special circumstances in individuals in jeopardy from rabies (replacing older vaccines made from central nervous system tissues of animals), adenovirus infections, meningococcal disease, and others.

      It is clear that vaccines widely employed as public health measures in the United States and other industrialized countries have had an enormous impact on morbidity and mortality. Major achievements include the following:17,18

      -- The last confirmed cases of smallpox were reported in 1977; in May 1980, the World Health Organization announced global eradication of smallpox.17
      -Reported U.S. rubella cases dropped from 57,686 cases with 29 deaths in 1969 to 2,325 cases and 4 deaths in 1982.
      -- The incidence of measles in the United States decreased from 894,134 reported cases with more than 2,250 deaths in 1941 to 1,497 reported cases and 2 deaths in 1983.
      -- The incidence of mumps in the United States dropped from 150,000 reported cases in 1968 to fewer than 3,500 reported cases in 1983.
      -- The average incidence of diphtheria in the United States between 1980 and 1984 was 3 cases per year with 1 or no deaths. In contrast, in the late 1950s the number of reported cases averaged more than 1,000 per year with about 75 deaths per year.
      -- Reported U.S. tetanus cases and deaths dropped steadily from a high of 601 cases in 1948 to fewer than 95 cases in 1983.
      -- Paralytic poliomyelitis, which afflicted more than 57,000 persons in the U.S. in 1952, is now a rarity; fewer than 4 cases were reported in 1984.
      -- The incidence of pertussis in the United States dropped from a high of 265,269 reported cases with more than 7,500 deaths in 1934, to fewer than 2,000 cases with only 4 deaths in 1982.18

      Much of the success in the United States can be attributed to the high levels of vaccination among young children that result from the school immunization laws. In the developing world, only about 30 percent of children are vaccinated.

      I am done here.

    18. Honkbert

      Of course! If these policies were aimed at reducing transmissions they wouldn’t make sense at all.

      The game of “let’s pretend vaccines provide sterile immunisation” seems to offer endless fun. The more untenable this position is in light of evidence, the stronger the delusion seems to get.

      Your vaccination is now your license to spread the virus, asymptotically, in most cases.

      Apparently, this is more responsible behaviour than providing proof of not presently...

      Of course! If these policies were aimed at reducing transmissions they wouldn’t make sense at all.

      The game of “let’s pretend vaccines provide sterile immunisation” seems to offer endless fun. The more untenable this position is in light of evidence, the stronger the delusion seems to get.

      Your vaccination is now your license to spread the virus, asymptotically, in most cases.

      Apparently, this is more responsible behaviour than providing proof of not presently being infected or being naturally immune. Somehow, your vaccination has earned you transmission privileges.

      Infectious people: you are welcome but please provide proof of vaccination. Your infection status is irrelevant.

    19. Ray

      @Honkbert: while I don’t disagree with you for the most part, I do agree with Germany and any other country with these restrictions. It is one case to have an American who is vaccinated get sick while visiting their country, it is another having to handle the sick anti-vaxxer getting sick there. They don’t want to handle the cost or the nightmares associated with hospitalization, etc. My feeling is if the US wants to get...

      @Honkbert: while I don’t disagree with you for the most part, I do agree with Germany and any other country with these restrictions. It is one case to have an American who is vaccinated get sick while visiting their country, it is another having to handle the sick anti-vaxxer getting sick there. They don’t want to handle the cost or the nightmares associated with hospitalization, etc. My feeling is if the US wants to get serious about having the masses vaccinated they stop covering the health care as well.

    20. Honkbert

      That's actually a valid point. I suppose mandating health insurance would also be an option? Isn't that what Costa Rica does?

    21. TG

      @Honkbert

      Health insurance doesn't keep someone out of an ICU bed. Vaccines (for the most part) do.

      Thats the key reason for these measures. If you're vaccinated and you are infected, yes there is a (significantly lower) risk of transmission and spread in Germany, but there is a very very low risk you'll end up in a German ICU bed taking the place of one of their own sick citizens.

      When countries like...

      @Honkbert

      Health insurance doesn't keep someone out of an ICU bed. Vaccines (for the most part) do.

      Thats the key reason for these measures. If you're vaccinated and you are infected, yes there is a (significantly lower) risk of transmission and spread in Germany, but there is a very very low risk you'll end up in a German ICU bed taking the place of one of their own sick citizens.

      When countries like Germany have higher vaccination rates, the need to stop vaccinated travelers bringing in the virus goes down with the focus swings to healthcare resources.

    22. Honkbert

      Your last point doesn’t convince me. It would seem like a very cost-efficient measure to only let non-infected people enter the country by requiring a test from everyone.

      Unless we’re talking about the aged, who generally don’t make up a large share of travellers, the additional risk from falling sick from COVID seems pretty small to me.

      My risk of requiring a hospitalisation associated with COVID in the next 90 days is 0.0476%,...

      Your last point doesn’t convince me. It would seem like a very cost-efficient measure to only let non-infected people enter the country by requiring a test from everyone.

      Unless we’re talking about the aged, who generally don’t make up a large share of travellers, the additional risk from falling sick from COVID seems pretty small to me.

      My risk of requiring a hospitalisation associated with COVID in the next 90 days is 0.0476%, my risk rank being 52/100 thus pretty much in the middle.

      In other words, 1 in 2101 travellers would require a hospitalisation associated with COVID on a 90 day trip.

      I would think that, on average, Americans go on trips to Germany lasting significantly less than 90 days.

      Let’s say I went for 10 days. I would have a 1/9 of the above risk for requiring a visit to a hospital : 0.0053% or 1 in 18909 people.

      I would have to find out what my general risk for a hospital stay on a 10 day trip would be, but honestly, I don’t find these 0.0476% very alarming.

      Obviously, my risk of requiring an ICU bed would be a small fraction of my risk of hospitalisation. The week with the greatest number of ICU beds since beginning of the pandemic in Germany was the first week in January 2021, with 458 people in ICU beds out of a total of 11253 COVID-associated hospitalisations in that week. So 458/11253 hospitalisations were treated in an ICU = 4%.

      Mind you, that 1) the ICU share of 4% is for all age groups and the aged disproportionately contributing to this share and 2) Germany has an unusually high ICU share for hospitalisations (totally out of line compared to other countries).

      Even with a highly conservative estimate that takes neither my age nor my (lack of) risk factors into account, my risk for ending up in an ICU bed would have been 0.0002% during the week with the highest occupancy of hospital beds in Germany or 1 in 500000 people.

      So if Germany experienced the craziest influx of American tourists ever, with 500000 people/week = 26 million/year which would be more than double the amount of tourists from all countries combined in 2017 - all unvaccinated - you would expect one additional ICU bed occupied by an American tourist.

      I did, in fact, get the travel health insurance with full coverage for COVID and I find the price very reasonable. Not to be overly modest, but I don't think I should count on having outsmarted the insurance mathematicians.

      Given that the overall risk, of being hospitalised for/with COVID is low and requiring an ICU bed is even lower, I don't think American travellers pose a significant risk to the German healthcare system.

      These were very quick and dirty calculations because I'm only moonlighting as a travel blog commentator, so may time is limited and I may have made mistake(s) and would be happy to be corrected.

      The most recent publications seem disagree with your statement that vaccination lowers your risk of transmission. With Delta, this doesn't seem to be true any longer. In addition, incidences from the countries with the highest vaccination rates don't seem to support this claim, either.

    23. Honkbert

      My ICU occupancy numbers are way off. Checking again...

    24. Alan

      https://drrollergator.substack.com/p/are-cases-decoupled-from-deaths

      These should illustrate that even vaccinated travelers present a problem if they get infected

    25. Santastico

      Who cares? Vaccinated people spread to unvaccinated people. Let Darwin take from there. If you keep stupid mask mandate and social distancing unvaccinated people have no incentive to get a vaccine since life will continue restricted. Let people live their lives.

    26. John

      I forget...are we supposed to get vaccinated and wear masks to "help our fellow man" and stop the spread, or just to protect ourselves while the rest of the world perishes?

    27. EC2

      If we cared about the world we’d only be vaccinated the high risk groups and sending the extra vaccines overseas.

    28. Commenting Commenter

      Agreed. Let natural selection play out as Nature intends it to be. This would be easily solved if the unvaccinated were denied medical attention when they go running to the hospital (BTW, stay home and ride it on your own if you're so strong and independent). However, since it's illegal to deny medical attention, they should just prioritize the help. If you're unvaccinated by choice, you're at the bottom of the list in the ER....

      Agreed. Let natural selection play out as Nature intends it to be. This would be easily solved if the unvaccinated were denied medical attention when they go running to the hospital (BTW, stay home and ride it on your own if you're so strong and independent). However, since it's illegal to deny medical attention, they should just prioritize the help. If you're unvaccinated by choice, you're at the bottom of the list in the ER. No one should have to cancel their surgeries and medical procedures because of the unvaccinated are clogging the system.

    29. Alan

      Every day more and more of those fully vaccinated are getting sick and even dying. One must remember that even during the Pfizer trial that lasted about three months slightly less than 1 percent of the participants had symptomatic covid. If we use the same number for the total population of the US it would take over 25 years to infect everyone. Of course Delta is more contageous so it could be quicker. My point...

      Every day more and more of those fully vaccinated are getting sick and even dying. One must remember that even during the Pfizer trial that lasted about three months slightly less than 1 percent of the participants had symptomatic covid. If we use the same number for the total population of the US it would take over 25 years to infect everyone. Of course Delta is more contageous so it could be quicker. My point is that an absence of cases does not preclude higher numbers moving forward. Just look at Israel and Iceland.

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Jimmy Gottfredson

Most government policies aren’t about completely eliminating a potential threat (which usually requires more draconian measures), but reducing the risk to “acceptable” levels. Although individuals could still enter the country infected after completing their vaccinations, the risk is significantly reduced.

UA-NYC

As long as there is Covid, there will be some spread. But an easy way to cut down the most virulent transmissions & cause of hospital overwhelming is to not allow those in who can't be bothered to look after their fellow citizens during a pandemic, and do something billions of other people globally have already done. As always, 'Murican anti-vaxxers are free to hit up Branson, Galveston, Daytona, and many other fantastic places.

TG

@Honkbert Health insurance doesn't keep someone out of an ICU bed. Vaccines (for the most part) do. Thats the key reason for these measures. If you're vaccinated and you are infected, yes there is a (significantly lower) risk of transmission and spread in Germany, but there is a very very low risk you'll end up in a German ICU bed taking the place of one of their own sick citizens. When countries like Germany have higher vaccination rates, the need to stop vaccinated travelers bringing in the virus goes down with the focus swings to healthcare resources.

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