You may be required to have a vaccine passport in 2021 to travel to Europe, US

American travel
American travel. [Photo: Financial Times]

Travel is bound to change in the COVID-19 era world all over as countries across the world hatch strategies to keep new infections from travellers at bay.

A few weeks ago, the US, UK, Russia and other countries in Europe started administering coronavirus vaccines but this is just one of the ways to tame the deadly virus from claiming more lives.

However, there is also talk of a vaccine passport application which travellers may require to be allowed into the US and Europe.

According to CNN, major technology companies in these parts of the world have channelled their energies towards developing mobile phone apps where people upload details of their coronavirus status as well as vaccination history which are digitally stored and used as a “passport” should you seek to visit public venues such as movie theatres or concerts.

One of the already developed apps is the CommonPass app engineered by Geneva-based nonprofit The Common Trust Network. It has partnered with major airlines such as Cathay Pacific, JetBlue, Lufthansa, Swiss Airlines, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic among others.

With CommonPass app, you upload the results of COVID-19 test, proof of vaccination by a hospital which in turn generates a health certificate in the form of QR code which is presented to the authorities.

Thomas Crampton, chief marketing and communications officer for The Commons Project told CNN Business that the app only seeks to offer a simple and easy digital platform to provide necessary documentation on vaccination and test results.

IBM also developed the Digital Health App which stores important details for companies on the status of an individual’s coronavirus tests, vaccination and temperature checks.

One key feature about these apps is that they have made privacy a cardinal point to credentials of millions of people who will be required to use them.

Crampton said that one of the things that governments will be looking into in these passport applications is the vaccination history regarding which vaccine was administered.

“A point of entry — whether that’s a border, whether that’s a venue — is going to want to know, did you get the Pfizer vaccine, did you get the Russian vaccine, did you get the Chinese vaccine, so they can make a decision accordingly,” he stated.

The vaccines already approved for use have varying levels of efficacy with Russia’s Pfizer scoring 95% while Moderna also has an efficacy rating of 95%.

China’s Sinopharm has a rating of 86%.