President Biden recently signed an executive order authorizing government agencies to “assess the feasibility” of linking various forms of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine certificates to produce a digital pass document. According to a newyorktimes.com article, the vaccine pass or passport documentation could come in several different forms. An immunity certificate would show that people have developed an immunity to the COVID-19 virus. A pass could prove whether a person tested negative for the virus; or if they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The travel industry is buzzing about the possibilty, of a new vaccine pass or passport. Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization hopes it could restart the tourism industry. Around the world governments and businesses hope such passes would eliminate the need for quarantine on arrivals. In order to travel intenationally authorities will require that a person have been vaccinated or have tested negative for the virus.
Nations have already begun planning to implement some form of a digital pass. Some countries are requiring proof of a negative test upon entry. Denmark’s government plans to require proof of vacccination within the next few months. The UAE’s Etihad Airways will start using a digital travel pass developed by the International Air Transport Association. The digital pass will manage travel plans and provide airlines and governments with documentation on COVID-19 vaccination or testing.
Governments want a passport document that is accessible throughout the world, easily authenticated through an electronic device or smartphone and protects against identity fraud. The widespread sale of fake negative COVID-19 test limits governments ability to control the process. A billion people worldwide currently can’t prove their identity due to a lack of resources. Many people will be unable to comply wirh passport digital requirements, thus heightening inequality.
NNV News Blog Writer Sister Rose Morris