Colombia will introduce vaccine mandates for public places and large-scale events. The South American country’s government justified the mandates as a way to contain the virus ahead of the festive period.
From November 16, Colombians will be required to show proof of vaccination to enter face-to-face venues and events, including cinemas, bars, discos, and amusement parks. The mandate also applies to tourists.
President Ivan Duque said “a decree will be signed where we want to make known to the Colombian people that for access to stadiums, entertainment events, bars, and restaurants from next November 16 it will be compulsory to have the vaccination card.”
The president said the purpose of the mandate is to achieve herd immunity.
“As the WHO has said, we have to quickly achieve this herd immunity and prevent future similar diseases, we have to continue protecting ourselves.”
He insisted that vaccines are a necessity, not an obligation.
He further argued for vaccine mandates because crowded places present a risk and vaccines minimize that risk.
“In addition to being a social control mechanism supported by science so that we achieve greater collective immunity and minimize health risks, people relax because the numbers are decreasing but crowded places have a level of risk and that is minimized with vaccination.”
Colombia’s Head of the Health Portfolio said that the vaccine mandate might eliminate the need for restrictions during the Christmas period.
“The measure has a protective effect against the Christmas holidays, to the extent that we can all get vaccinated, we will have a substantial restriction of risk. It is a special call to Colombians insofar as it is necessary to close the cycle.”
The vaccine passport requirement will apply for people over the age of 18 starting November 16. It will then extend to those over the age of 11 from November 30, and those over the age of 5 from December 15.
Initially, people will be given vaccine passports with only one dose of the vaccine. But people will be required to take the second dose as soon as possible to continue enjoying the “freedoms” allowed by the vaccine passports.