Covid Passport

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Countries may require a Covid passport for safer travel to other countries.

 

For safer travel to other countries, it is likely that a health passport certifying that the coronavirus vaccine has already been received will soon be required, allowing a safer flow of international travelers. There are different initiatives in the world to create these Covid passports, such as one from Switzerland Microsoft and approaches from the World Health Organization (WHO). Dr. Rogelio Lopez, a specialist in travel medicine, said in a virtual conference that this passport should be simpler as a quick response code (QR) that you show from your cell phone or printed on a sheet of paper. 

The World Health Organization's special envoy for Covid-19 said this week that he believes "it will be important " that some form of vaccination certificate be introduced as international travel picks up. "I am absolutely certain that in the coming months we will have a lot of movement and the conditions under which people can move from one place to another, some kind of vaccination certificate will certainly be important," said the WHO special envoy for Covid-19. 

The expert stressed that it is key for countries to be transparent in their data and indicated that "bubbles" for travel between territories can only be formed if they have similar levels of vaccination and restrictions against the virus. However, Geneva spokeswoman Margaret Harris said a vaccine passport could not demonstrate the quality or durability of any protective immunity gained by being inoculated or naturally infected with the virus, Harris said. "The idea that your natural immunity should be protective and that you could somehow use this as a way of saying 'I'm OK to travel' is completely out of the question." An ambitious push by digital passport carriers to replace mandatory quarantines that kill travel demand is also fraught with challenges and has yet to win over the World Health Organization. 

NEW RULES 

Governments are generally uneasy about welcoming international visitors, and rules change at the slightest hint of trouble. Worldwide, there are 109,729,000 cases of Covid-19, as well as 2,424,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Meanwhile, more than 181 million doses have been administered in 79 countries, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

Microsoft, Salesforce, Oracle, and the Mayo Clinic in the United States are leading efforts to develop a digital passport to prove worldwide vaccination against Covid-19. These companies are looking for governments and airlines to soon start requiring people to show proof of their vaccination, and therefore their immunity. This initiative is based on developing the technology to encrypt a digital copy of a person's vaccination credentials so that it can then be stored in any virtual wallet of their choice such as Apple wallet and Google Pay, among others.