Vaccination Passports? Here's What We Know

Issue 72

As COVID-19 vaccinations are spreading around the world, limitations on travel have continued to weaken.  Countries such as Italy, Iceland, Greece and Spain have already begun to allow for international travel with proof of COVID-19 vaccinations, however, governments and airlines are now discussing what methods should be used to prove that a traveler has immunity to the virus.

Companies across the United States have begun to eliminate the mask mandate for those who have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine, including companies such as Walmart, Costco, and several hotel chains.  Currently these companies do not require proof of vaccination but go only on the honesty of the customer.  Airlines intend to take a different approach as proof of vaccination is required to travel.  The Department of Homeland Security has stated that it will not check travelers COVID-19 test results but the act of doing so will be entirely up to the airlines.

Airlines have requested that President Biden implement a standard for uploading medical records in order to streamline the traveling process.  Federal officials have stated that they do not intend on maintaining a digital database of vaccinations and they will leave this responsibility to the private sector.

Airlines are reluctant to process COVID-19 vaccination cards issued by the Center for Disease Control and are pushing for a digital app that would allow for airline staff to scan with ease.  Apps known as digital health passports have begun to appear around the globe in which users will upload their medical information, such as vaccinations, that can easily be scanned on their phone.  These apps are currently not required for travel as other forms of proof of the COVID-19 vaccination, or a negative test are still sufficient means of being able to travel.

Source: CNBC