The amount of people traveling by air has steadily increased over the course of the past few months, but that doesn’t mean everyone is ready to fully let down their guard just yet. Many people are still concerned that coronavirus numbers could spike if travelers don’t take the proper precautions, and that some travelers may not be taking the necessary steps to protect themselves and those around them.
As millions of people around the globe have begun to receive the coronavirus vaccine, the United States government has been in talks of introducing digital vaccine passports in order to add an extra layer of protection when it comes to traveling. This has led many to wonder when we could expect vaccine passports to rollout and what exactly are some of the pros and cons of vaccine passports? Here’s what you should know:
What Exactly is a Vaccine Passport?
A vaccine passport is proof that you’ve either received the coronavirus vaccine or that you’ve recently tested negative for the virus. Essentially, you’ll be able to pull up your vaccine passport on your digital device, and show airlines, hotels, movie theaters, restaurants, and other businesses that you’re protected against COVID-19 or have recently tested negative for COVID-19. Vaccine passports could help companies be able to fully reopen to those who are protected against the coronavirus and may also help to open up international borders as soon as possible.
What Will I Be Able to Do With a Vaccine Passport?
With a vaccine passport, you will be able to show digital proof that you have either received the COVID-19 vaccine, or that you have recently tested negative for the coronavirus. One benefit of a vaccine passport is that it may allow you to visit businesses that decide to fully reopen only to those who are protected against COVID-19. Additionally, a vaccine passport could also allow you to travel to destinations around the globe without having to quarantine.
Are There Any Negatives of Vaccine Passports?
One potential negative is that we could see a vaccine shortage for those who are at high risk if vaccine passports are introduced, according to a statement made by The World Health Organization (WHO). This is due to the fact that travelers may end up rushing to get the vaccine so that they can obtain a vaccine passport as soon as possible, leaving a shortage of vaccinations available for everyone else.
Another concern of allowing those with a vaccine passport to travel more freely (and without having to quarantine) is that there are still some unknowns as to how effective the vaccine is against new COVID-19 strains.
When Will Vaccine Passports Be Available?
Though there is talk of developing and introducing vaccine passports around the globe, as of March 15, 2021, there is no set date as to when vaccine passports will be available to Americans.
Have Vaccine Passports Ever Been Used Before?
Currently, there are some countries around the world that require people to show proof of certain vaccinations against diseases such as rubella, cholera, yellow fever, typhus fever, and smallpox before entering. Once vaccinated, travelers will receive an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (also known as a yellow card) so that they can show proof of vaccination when needed.