“Vaccine Passports” Likely Coming Soon for United States Travelers

The Biden administration is reportedly working with private companies to develop some sort of “vaccine passport” or “vaccine credentials” that would allow people to prove they have been vaccinated.

While Disney and Universal theme parks have not yet announced any change in policies regarding vaccinated guests, some companies have announced they will require proof of vaccination before allowing visitors. “Vaccine passports” could be an easy, standard way for people in the United States to prove their vaccination records. The Biden administration is currently exploring the best way to quickly provide these passports.

According to coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients at a March 12 briefing, “Our role is to help ensure that any solutions in this area should be simple, free, open-source, accessible to people both digitally and on paper, and designed from the start to protect people’s privacy.”

The Washington Post reports that there are currently 17 passport initiatives underway led by different organizations, including the World Health Organization and IBM. The Biden administration is attempting to zero in on their best option for tracking vaccines, as well as dealing with other challenges, such as data privacy and healthcare equity.

The passports need to be available to all vaccinated Americans without being easily hacked or counterfeited. Developers have said that the free passports could be available through a smartphone app that would display a scannable code. Those without a smartphone would be able to print the passport instead. This idea even reminds us of Walt Disney World’s upcoming MagicMobile Pass system.

“Vaccine passports” or credentials will likely be most important when it comes to air travel. Major air and travel associations recently called on the White House to finalize the vaccine credentials plan by May. Proof of vaccination could also be necessary for cruises.

Other countries are also working on creating their own vaccine credential systems. The European Union has pledged to release digital certificates in time for summer travel and it has been previously posited international travel restrictions will loosen by May.

Currently, Floridians over the age of 40 are able to get vaccinated, and Floridians over the age of 18 will be eligible next month. Californians 16 and up will be eligible on April 15. Vaccinated guests are still required to wear face masks at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort.

Source: The Washington Post