Sir Richard Branson said he believes vaccines and other Covid-19 precautions, such as mandatory indoor face coverings, are key to preventing the spread of the virus, rather than “damage to closures.”
Writing on his blog on the Virgin website, Sir Richard said that “widespread and fair vaccinations against Covid-19, coupled with sensible daily practices like indoor mask warrants and frequent testing” remained the best means of achieving “a global recovery”.
He condemned “more damaging blockages and tit-for-tat travel bans,” adding that “there must be a proportionate response that balances the obvious risks of Covid with the mental health and economic risks of preventing people to live their life “.
He added that when the virus first emerged, little was known and therefore the blockages were “understandable”, but that the data now suggested that eligible people should get vaccinated and boosted “and then move on. before”.
He criticized governments for “failing to look at the whole picture” and said closures, “unnecessary” quarantines and travel bans “were destroying small businesses and livelihoods, especially in sectors such as hotels and travel ”.
He expressed concern over the impact of blockages on mental health, citing an Australian study from the state of Victoria, which had been “subjected to the longest and hardest blockages in the country”, had known a spike in mental health problems compared to other parts of the country.
He said he and his family had all received their booster doses of the vaccine and urged those eligible to receive a booster as well.
Sir Richard also highlighted the issue of global vaccine inequality.
“The current inequality of vaccines is unacceptable, as low-income countries are much less likely to have access to vaccines, let alone adequate distribution systems,” he said.
He added that this left low-income countries vulnerable, putting “already fragile” economies under pressure and pushing “more people into poverty”.
“The pandemic cannot end without a unified global response ensuring access to the vaccine for all, otherwise the virus will continue to be one step ahead of us, leading to new variants that could possibly elude our current generation. vaccines, “he added.
Sir Richard said that having lost his mother, Eve, to the virus, who had lived to be 90 and had “the most extraordinary life”, he knew she would not have wanted to “prevent the other generations to build their own wonderful lives ”.