Welcome to Travel Well with Allan Wright!
In this week’s episode, Allan discusses vaccine passports and how the COVID vaccine will most likely be required to travel internationally – and even domestically in some cases.
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Can’t watch the video right now? Here’s the video transcript of Vaccine Passports:
Hi, this is Allan Wright. Welcome to the Travel Well with Allan video update. Today the subject is vaccine passports. But before we get into it, I just wanted to give an update on where we are with the COVID pandemic right now. We have good news out there in addition to the vaccines.
The good news is that we are experiencing the decline across the board in the United States in the number of new cases recorded. That’s excellent news! Not a surprise, as it’s as I predicted two months ago and I’m just parroting the professionals who told us this was likely to happen after the holidays but it’s good news.
Deaths are still high but those are probably going to follow in a decline as they lag new cases and further good news are these vaccines which although we’re not getting them out that fast or fast enough they are getting out into the arms of the people who are most vulnerable. Which means that maybe once those deaths go down in a couple weeks, they’ll stay down forever which would be great news.
The negative news out there are those new virus variants South Africa, UK, and Brazil. The UK virus variant has been discovered in 30 or so states in the U.S. You should assume it’s in your neighborhood too because we don’t automatically test for that variant and it’s coming. So that could produce a spike in cases in February and March.
Now on to vaccine passports. There are several issues related to vaccine passports number one – is it legal for countries to require vaccines to enter? The answer is definitely. Right now, according to World Health Organization, 17 countries require yellow fever vaccination.
How would it work? Well in the old days, we had what we call the yellow book which is officially called the international certificate of vaccination or prophylaxis. Mine has entries going back to 1991. The modern version is not going to be this. It’s going to be an app and you’ll have it on your phone and it’ll be very easy to implement and have countries require that.
Will countries require it? The answer is probably. In some form, countries are already requiring negative COVID tests, often combined with a quarantine period. And so it’s not a big jump up to you have to get either a test or a vaccine. And if you have to test with quarantine then the vaccine is going to be looking quite nice as an as an alternative. You know the nice thing about this is of course it will allow the countries to open up to the desperately needed tourism that they want.
Will society go for it? I think the answer is a definitive yes, Many people will go for it and want it. We’re already doing negative COVID tests for international travel. We’re in the U.S. now talking about it for domestic travel. The United Airlines CEO recently suggested all his employees should be required to get it. Although that was really just a floated idea. And people are working on these apps already so those are going to be in place soon and some of them are supported by major players.
The arguments against this – we don’t know for sure if the virus restricts people from transmitting it to others. We’re working on that and finding the information. I think that will be resolved and hopefully, the answer is no. Privacy always an issue but you already have a passport and you’re always already getting visas so you’re already giving your information. I don’t see it as a huge step up. And finally, vaccine safety but in the end, if you don’t want to get that vaccine then you will either not be traveling or will have to jump through other hoops to do it.
So should you as a traveler want this? The answer is? Yes. For one thing, more countries will open up to tourism sooner if they do so requiring people to be vaccinated. It’s a good thing for you and your travel options. Number two, it’ll be an awful lot nicer to be on a plane to Germany or wherever you’re flying if you know that everybody else on that plane has been vaccinated.