As the COVID-19 vaccine continues to roll out around the country and world, officials are looking at next steps.
Right now, many countries (including the United States) already require a negative test for entry and masks are soon to be required for air travel in the U.S. Now, officials are evaluating the potential for a “vaccine passport” to prove passengers are vaccinated in order to fly. Here’s what we know!
According to the New York Times, a recent Executive Order from President Joe Biden asks government agencies to “assess the feasibility” of linking COVID-19 vaccine certificates with other documents and producing digital versions.
This is ultimately aiming at working out a kind of “vaccine pass or passport” to provide passengers in travel, workers, and attendees at events with documentation to prove they have been vaccinated against the virus. This kind of pass could specifically be used for international travel or for largescale events, like the Super Bowl. Many countries and some airlines already require a negative COVID-19 test to fly, this could be the next step.
Currently, the CDC mandates a negative test for international travelers entering the United States. The requirement of a negative test is not new, but this vaccine passport is for use if officials opt to require vaccination for certain activities.
“One key element vital for the restart of tourism is consistency and harmonization of rules and protocols regarding international travel,” said Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary-general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization. “Evidence of vaccination, for example, through the coordinated introduction of what may be called ‘health passports’ can offer this. They can also eliminate the need for quarantine on arrival, a policy which is also standing in the way of the return of international tourism.”
Some entities are already working to develop a digital health passport of sorts including the government of Denmark, the International Air Transport Association, I.A.T.A., IBM, and The World Economic Forum, and the Commons Project Foundation.
One challenge with this is creating a document or app that can be accepted and verified worldwide, that protects privacy, and is accessible to people regardless of their wealth and smartphone access.
We’ll be keeping an eye out for more news about the vaccine passport and how it may affect your travel to Disney parks. As always, stay tuned to DFB for the latest updates.