Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted the world's ability to travel—whether to pursue higher education, conduct business meetings, explore new places, or simply to relax and unwind. Now, as the world considers the "new normal" following the pandemic, electronic vaccine passports may be a solution that enables us to get back to traveling around the world.

What is a vaccine passport?

Vaccine passports, sometimes called immunity passports, are electronic documents often based on mobile applications which affirm that the bearer is vaccinated against relevant contagious disease(s). Vaccine passports can also sometimes go beyond recording vaccine status and also be used to record a traveler's other health data.

Latest development on vaccine passport

The COVID-19 pandemic has been enormously damaging to the world economy, and the airline industry, travel and tourism, and hospitality sectors were some of the hardest hit. Many countries consider a government-approved vaccine passport as a possible solution—which would allow business travelers and tourists alike to resume in-person meetings and visits, and global stock markets to slowly and steadily rebound through resumed trading of goods and services between nations. Israel has issued the 'Green Pass,' which is available either digitally or as a card and allows citizens to access shopping malls, theatres, airports, events and concerts, indoor restaurants, gyms, etc. Hungary has started issuing immunity cards to vaccinated citizens, and similar resolutions are being undertaken in China, Singapore, Europe, Denmark and more. Various governments, airlines, and international travel and tourism corporations are also working together to develop vaccine passport applications.

While many countries around the world are eager to revive their tourism sectors and encourage travel, there has been some apprehension and discussion revolving around applying a vaccine passport model to COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) has not arrived at a collective conclusion on whether to proceed with the COVID-19 vaccine e-certificate, and an estimated time to introduce vaccine passports is not yet determined.

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