July 24, 2021


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COVID-19 vaccine passport for travel: What it is, how it works, who is pushing for it

As COVID-19 vaccination rates creep up and the promise of a post-pandemic future moves from improbable to possible, a new question is emerging: Should countries and the private sector embrace the idea of a digital vaccine passport for travel, working and dining? Though proving you’re vaccinated to travel is not a new concept (think yellow fever), doing so for COVID-19 would be on a far grander scale than ever before.

Advocates say such passports would hasten the return of a “normal” world with travel, sporting events and dancing in packed nightclubs. Skeptics, however, predict they could result in discrimination and fraud, encourage risky behavior when the coronavirus is still raging, and be a privacy minefield. And the logistical challenges in implementing them are immense.

As the debate continues, here’s what we know, including which countries may be the first to use a passport as proof you got a coronavirus vaccine.

What is a COVID-19 vaccine passport and what would it do?

They don’t fully exist quite yet, but a vaccine passport would be a form of documentation (likely digital) that would allow you to prove to border officials or another gatekeeper that you’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The idea behind a vaccine passport is that it would allow a person to resume activities that are now restricted because of the coronavirus pandemic. Regaining the ability to travel freely is getting the most attention in the debate, but that’s not the only proposed benefit. Advocates say they also could let you eat inside a restaurant, enjoy a cocktail in a bar, see a movie, go to the gym and attend concerts, sporting events, theater performances and other events that would put you in close proximity with a lot of other people. Schools could require it, and employers may mandate it for employees hoping to reenter the office.

How would it work?

Despite its name, the vaccine passport wouldn’t be like the little booklet passport you present to immigration officials when you cross an international border. Rather, the concept is for a digital passport that’s part of a mobile app. The app could also allow you to check entry requirements for a country (possibly after uploading your itinerary) and hold the status of your last COVID test and possibly other health information. Some are pushing for a paper version, and while paper vaccination passports for other diseases do exist, a digital version will likely win out (more on that later).

Read More: https://www.cnet.com/health/covid-19-vaccine-passport-for-travel-what-it-is-how-it-works-and-who-is-pushing-for-them/