Traveling? Things You Should Know About COVID-19 Passports

Traveling%3F+Things+You+Should+Know+About+COVID-19+Passports

Fernando Menjura, Writer

As more and more people worldwide are being vaccinated, traveling has begun to rebound. More than 1 million airport screenings have taken place over the last 20 days, becoming the longest streak since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic on March 11 by the World Health Organization. However, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) currently recommends that fully-vaccinated Americans stay put and don’t travel unless it is necessary. 

That said, a coronavirus passport has become available for travelers, showing proof of being fully-vaccinated. It can be digital or hard copy on paper and has also been described as free, secure, equitable, and accessible in multiple different languages. Now, vaccine cards aren’t a new thing, as many travel with them to show proof of certain vaccines that they have taken when traveling to places where tourists have gotten sick before. In Africa, malaria and yellow fever are the most common illnesses tourists come down with, mainly transmitted through drinking bad water or from open wounds, and many vaccine cards used for travel in the last decade have the yellow fever and hepatitis A vaccines recommended for travel to Africa.

Experts have begun to talk about whether or not the COVID-19 passport should be a separate thing from the normally-used vaccine cards. Henry Raymond, an epidemiologist and associate professor at the Rutgers School of Public Health, said, “I honestly don’t think there’s a need for it to be a separate thing.” He later added that having the vaccine wasn’t a free pass for not wearing a mask.

One of the main benefits from having these vaccine passports established is the surplus in the economy. Not only will these cards help make traveling safer and more “normal” (like how it was pre-pandemic), but it will open up tourism around the world once again. Many tourist cities are nervous and insecure about having people enter their tourism areas, but the vaccine passport will provide trust in those running the tours. And, not only will the passports allow for more tourism, but it will help keep those who are safely vaccinated more separated from those who are not. 

Helping the economy grow again and getting rid of COVID-19 – if you want to travel, the new vaccine passports are for you.