- Vaccine passports are here and rolling out. They will initially be used for travel and may be required. It is widely expected that event, festival and concert organizers will mandate either a vaccine passport or a negative Covid-19 test.
- Numerous countries have announced vaccine passport or similar.
- The U.S. government has begun researching vaccine passport concepts.
- The are ethical/moral issues with vaccine passports but the reality is there is tremendous pressure from the vaccine privileged to get on with life, and for businesses to get economic activity underway. This is not stoppable. In fact, it is growing rapidly.
- Feb 24: Israel passes law to allow sharing of the names and personal information of the non-vaccinated with local government, schools, police and so on.
- Feb 24: Vaccine passports now live in 12 countries, including the U.S. states of Hawaii and Vermont.
- Feb 24: Visitors to Vermont who have already been vaccinated, no longer need to do a 14-day quarantine. Vaccinated residents also have more freedom to meet with other households in the state. Domestic vaccine passports and vaccine privilege are now live in the United States.
- Feb 23: Tourism Authority of Thailand says they need to have a vaccine passport policy available by June.
- Feb 23: Just two weeks after saying the UK would not pursue vaccine passports at this time, UK officials say they are considering allowing businesses to demand vaccine passports for customer access.
- Feb 22: Air New Zealand to begin trial of vaccine passports for flights to/from Australia.
- Feb 22: UK “travel advisors” call on the government to begin planning for resumption of international travel and vaccine passports. “We must harness the power of our immunisation programme to restore liberties and boost economies both at home and abroad. Far better to let a growing number of the vaccinated have a fuller life right now, rather than delay until we all can.” (aka vaccine privileged)
- Feb 21: Israel launches vaccine privilege:
“Shops were open to all, but access to gyms, hotels and theatres was limited to people with a “Green Pass”: those who have had both doses of the vaccine more than a week prior, or recovered from the disease with presumed immunity.
Pass-holders could prove their status by presenting a vaccination certificate or downloading a health ministry app linked to their medical files.”
- Feb 21: Forbes – vaccine passports will be globally standardized, and updatable and revocable based on changing global disease patterns.
- Feb 18: Bahrain launches digital Covid-19 vaccine passport (appears to be live now)
- Feb 18: Israel races a head with two-tiered society (sounds like a caste system) – those who are vaccinated and those who are not.
- Feb 18: Greece and Britain are in discussions for a joint vaccine passport travel agreement. More here.
- Feb 17: France and Swiss government officials discuss vaccine passport options; no plans yet.
- Feb 16: Hawaii may launch vaccine passport as soon as March 1st for “essential workers”; possibly everyone by May 1st.
- Feb 15: Vaccine passports likely to be mandatory for air and ship travel by July of 2021.
- Estonia launches vaccine passport.
- Romania, Iceland, Hungary (immunity proof required for visitors now – either proof of vaccination or proof of past Covid-19 infection, or multiple negative Covid-19 tests).
- Iceland is the first EU country to offer vaccine or immunity privileges. Several smaller nations or regions (such as northern Canada) will soon have vaccinated most of their populations – and they will not be able to continue justifying harsh mandatory quarantines on arriving travels. Who are they protecting?
- Denmark to launch vaccine passport by end of February and widespread use by April/May for travel; will make an announcement later about use for non-travel activities.
- Japan likely to have an international travel vaccine passport for citizens as soon as April. Big questions as to how this affects the 2020 (now 2021) Summer Olympics in Japan, assuming they are still held. Also adds the oddity of potentially diverting vaccines to healthy young athletes, staff and potential attendees.
- Sweden launching vaccine passport by summer of 2021
- Etihad and Emirates airlines will begin using the IATA digital vaccine passport by March 2021 (an earlier report said April)
- January and earlier reports follow
- Israel has a vaccine passport – announces that a vaccine passport will be required for admission to businesses, gyms, restaurants, shopping malls. The names of those not vaccinated will be turned over to “authorities”.
- Cyprus is rolling this out now
- Belgium supports the concept
- Spain has its own ideas on this.
- Portugal likes the idea
- European Union supports immunity passport concept
- The United Nations World Tourism Organization supports “health passports”
- The Seychelles islands are doing this differently – once all residents are vaccinated by mid-March, they will no long require arrivals to quarantine.
- Best guess: vaccine passports will be required to attend domestic events during second half of 2021. Event/festival/concert organizers may require proof of immunity or a contemporary negative Covid-19 test to attend. For them, it is a liability issue. A major French DJ supports immunity proof for future event attendance.
- A few days later – more news on many EU countries expecting to roll out vaccine passports.
- UK confirms it is indeed investigating vaccine passports. News reports saying the UK has said on to passports are misleading; the UK has said “no” for now saying their attention is currently on the large number of cases in the UK. They will revisit passports at a later time. The PM sees them as likely for future international travel.
- Ireland will consider a vaccine passport later in 2021.
- Several additional tech companies launch digital vaccine passport technologies.
- Los Angeles County Schools will mandate Covid-19 vaccination for a return to school – once vaccines are available for children.
- The Director of the CDC was asked about vaccine passports but did not answer the question (last question at that link).
- The Linux Foundation is now collaborating with digital vaccine passport technology.
- US President Biden has asked government agencies to report on feasibility of Covid-19 vaccine records and passport concepts.
- Airlines for Europe (representing 2/3ds of EU air traffic) seeks to have government put plans together now for re-starting airline travel. The need for a plan is probably the most important item, but they also want to see those with immunity (either vaccine or because they had Covid-19) be able to travel without restrictions. They also note that current isolation and quarantine measures inflicted on air travelers are accomplishing little or nothing.
Private firms can set their own rules and many have announced they will require proof of immunity. Qantas Airline expects to require proof of immunity by mid-2021. UK cruise line “Saga” has mandated vaccinations for all future booking travelers.
In addition to being vaccine privileged, such individuals will also have travel privilege and event access privilege.
There are significant moral and ethical concerns about creating a two-class citizenry – those with vaccine privilege and those without. But this is not stoppable: once the elite are vaccinated, they will demand to get on with their lives, and second, the economic issues will drive this forward. Vaccine passports will not be stopped.
An even more elite group has multiple passport privilege that they can use to travel around the world and bypass many travel restrictions.
Recently, a young person I know moved from the U.S. to an EU country. I was perplexed as to how she could do this in the midst of travel bans between the U.S. and her destination country. Turns out she was born in Germany but grew up in the U.S. As a consequence, she has dual nationality and can travel “home” to the EU on the German passport, and back to the U.S. on her U.S. passport, if she wants to.