If you’re anything like me, then you always love to be on the move. Why stay home when you could be traveling to new cities, trying new foods, and exploring the best that sightseeing has to offer. Basically, think of the beautiful highs of traveling before COVID-19 disrupted the normalcy as we know it. Now, it seems the “new normal” may require mandatory vaccination proof for the majority of future travel plans.
Although it may take a minute for a mandatory vaccination to be required to travel within the states, it seems to be more likely required for international travel soon. According to Forbes.com, “International travel remains at historically low levels, but a vaccine passport may help countries reopen their borders sooner. Governments are currently favoring pre-travel diagnostic testing to waive the mandatory quarantine on inbound travel. Immunity passports, showing proof of the coronavirus vaccination, are becoming more popular.” Countries such as Israel and Bahrain have already announced their plans to develop a passport initiative proving that you’ve had the COVID-19 vaccination. Additionally, numerous nations of the European Union are going through the European Commission in regards to moving forward with a similar process.
A major plus for technological development with the use of COVID-19 vaccination identification is that authorities can scan a QR code of the traveler’s to verify them. Although I have mixed feelings about a mandatory vaccination possibly being implemented in the near future, I think the idea of having a faster process with scanning QR codes for immunity passports will give accurate results to easier determine if the traveler meets the requirements or needs to quarantine for a certain amount of days. Between early 2021 and the summer of 2021 is when travelers can expect to see the rise of immunity passports for most countries.
New York has been one of the first states within the U.S. to use a program app called the “Excelsior Pass” that can serve as a vaccine passport; however, it’s not mandatory. Andrew Cuomo, the New York Governor, recently made this announcement that this can serve as a way for New Yorkers to prove their vaccination and negative history of COVID-19. According to deadline.com when using the app, “No health information will be revealed when scanned. A green check mark or red “X” will be the only identifiers.” Talks about Illinois having a vaccine passport are being had, but no final decisions have been made just yet.
Since I do plan on continuing to travel for business and family related events for the rest of 2021-2022, I am considering getting the vaccination to help stop the spread of COVID. However, I do want to see the effects of those that are already getting the vaccination and see how that transpires first. The nature of traveling within the states and internationally will definitely be forever changed within the future. Because of that, it’s our responsibility to adapt for the safety of our society.
By Kori Barnes, University of Nevada, Las Vegas