- 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.
- FYI – As of December 2020, the typical price charged for a routine, Covid-19 screening test (asymptomatic) runs about $100 to $200 for each test in the U.S. So-called “rapidtests” have an underlying cost of about $5, so there is significant health industrial complex mark up going on. For some people, many of these test costs will be paid for by someone else (insurance, Medicare) depending on provider and purpose.
Update Summer 2021
I’m so old, I remember just a few months back when “they” insisted there were never be vaccine mandates and vaccine passports in the United States.
Today, the Biden Administration acknowledges discussing vaccine passports for interstate travel but is holding off on that “for now”. Wait a few months – this will soon be mandatory too. Canada announced mandatory vaccine passports for domestic air travel, domestic rail travel, and boarding ships in Canadian ports.
How many months until this is implemented in the U.S.?
How might it be implemented? For air travel, this is easily checked by TSA or at the boarding gate. For car travel, perhaps “they” will require a mandatory smart phone app. If you turn on your phone in another state, and you are not vaccinated, the authorities will be notified?
After the pandemic subsides, this tech will become permanent in the U.S. as the government will choose to track our activities for other purposes. Many states, and now the new Infrastructure bill, include provisions to track and tax vehicle travel by the mile.
- October 21, 2021: Canada announces mandatory vaccine passport for all international travelers effective Nov 30th. Meanwhile, the U.S. public health apparatus still has on secure, verifiable, authenticatable vaccination record for U.S. residents who may have to interact with international travel requirements. U.S. public health is incompetent.
- September 2021: U.S. Senator Feinstein has introduced a bill mandating vaccine passports for domestic air travel in the U.S. The proposed system would recognize valid vaccination records, proof of previously having had Covid-19, or a negative Covid-19 test – but one of the three would be required to board any U.S. domestic airline flight.
- September 2021: The UK is set to join the EU’s digital vaccine passport program. 40 countries are now part of that digital vaccine passport system, including Israel and Panama.
- September 2021: Dr. Fauci supports a vaccine mandate for domestic air travel, as does the Surgeon General, but Dr. Murthy says there would also need to be exemptions for emergency travel. ‘“I don’t know what school you went to, but the school that I went to, you had to be vaccinated for measles, mumps, rubella, polio, or otherwise you couldn’t go to school,” Fauci said’ – uhh, which school? He’s much older than me and I only had a smallpox and a polio vaccination.
- September 2021: UK government announces it is dropping vaccine passports.
- September 2021: Oahu and Maui introduce vaccine passport program.
- September 2021: Rose City Comic Con (Portland, OR), Emerald City Comic Con (Seattle, WA) both mandate proof of vaccination or proof of negative Covid-19 test within 48 hours prior. Numerous restaurants, bars, cafes and large event organizers say they are now requesting proof of vaccination. Thus, “unofficial” vaccine passports are being implemented by the private sector.
- August 2021: Live Nation music and events organizer mandates vaccinations for all attendees at its events, nationwide.
- August 2021: Quebec implements vaccine passports for entry to all “non-essential” public functions.
- August 2021: San Francisco mandates “Vaccine passport” for entry to restaurants, bars, gyms, and “large events”. NYC and Los Angeles have announced similar mandates. Basically, if you have not yet figured out – proof of vaccination will likely be required across the U.S. perhaps by October.
- August 2021: Former Biden Senior Advisor for Covid Response Andy Slavitt issues a Tweet implying that vaccine passports will be announced in early September. We know they will be required for inbound foreign travelers. 3 of 4 airlines say they want vaccine passports for domestic travel. Numerous businesses, and event venues, are already enforcing “vaccine card” passports. These pieces are coming together into an official vaccination record that will be live by early fall of 2021.
- July 2021: France makes vaccine passports mandatory for entry to “non-essential” businesses, including restaurants, but also for travel on trains or airplanes. Upon this announcement, about 1 million people signed up that day for a vaccination appointment.
- July 2021: Basically, all EU nations are now offering the EU vaccine passport enabling vaccinated citizens of EU states to travel freely in Europe. Americans are out of luck as there is, as of now, no way to provide authenticated, verifiable vaccine records to anyone.
- July 2021: Canada to introduce digital, verifiable vaccine passport for international travel.
- July 2021: Because the U.S. does not have verifiable vaccination records, travel for Americans is more expensive:
“U.K. and U.S. participants, who don’t have access to the health pass, have had to show a negative PCR test and get tested every 48 hours during the fest,
- Late June: Several EU countries have opened to travel from fully vaccinated Americans. Switzerland will open at end of July. U.S. still has no official way to verify and authenticate vaccination records. Unclear what impact this may have on U.S. travelers.
- May 16: Australia expects to keep its borders closed to all non-residents who are not “essential workers” until mid-2022. New Zealand expects the same until end of 2021 or early 2022.
- May 14: In response to new CDC guidelines that vaccinated persons need no longer were a face covering in most situations, Oregon announces that it expects all businesses to “card” anyone not wearing a mask. Effectively, Oregon has opted for a “vaccine passport” (which was also ignored by most businesses).
- May 3: EU to open up travel to fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. and other lower risk countries, by end of June 2021. The travel vaccine privileged is expected to be setup as a reciprocal arrangement, meaning travel in both directions. The UK will open up but will required that fully vaccinated arrivals quarantine for 5 days, have a negative Covid-19 test before boarding the plane, another at 5 days, and another around 10 days. That’s 3 tests for a fully vaccinated person – at an expense of US$100 or more per test.
- Apr 29: A large majority of U.S. employers may require employees to be vaccinated. In which case, a “vaccine privilege” is having a job!
- Apr 25: The EU will soon announce that fully vaccinated Americans can travel to the EU without restriction, probably starting this summer.
- Apr 20: California launches vaccine passports but refuses to label them that way. Instead, California gives an incentive to venues that host indoor live events to require proof of vaccination. Same thing as a vaccine passport. Experts foresee having to present your vaccine pass on a routine basis.
- Apr 10: New Zealand mandates that certain front line workers be vaccinated if they wish to keep their job.
- Apr 9: Volcano erupts on the island of St. Vincent. Several area islands will take evacuees – but only if they agree to be vaccinated. A later clarification says vaccinations are required only for some methods of evacuation; those without vaccinations will have limited options.
- Apr 8: Lots of businesses, from airlines to sports events, hotels and conventions are starting to adopt “vaccine passports”
- Apr 6: Brown University to require all those on campus to be vaccinated for fall attendance. Students who are not vaccinated must petition for remote study option or take a leave of absence. Prediction: This will be standard at nearly all college campus – basically it’s state mandated vaccinations without saying so. They have not yet decided if there will be mandatory mask wearing for the vaccinated. UPDATE: Essentially all universities and colleges nationwide have adopted this.
- Apr 5: De facto vaccine passports go live in California as of April 15th and proof will be require to attend indoor receptions, events and meetings. A negative Covid-19 test will be accepted – the cost in San Diego is $65/test.
- Apr 1: South Korea issuing vaccine passport
- Apr 1: Hawaii is considering a vaccine passport for travel between the islands that make up the state. Effectively, a passport for in-state travel.
- Apr 1: Las Vegas hotel plans to implement a smart phone-based digital vaccine passport for access to conventions and events.
- Apr 1: Abbott Labs gets FDA approval for inexpensive, rapid, at home, do it yourself Covid-19 testing and suggests consumers should test themselves frequently. Their press release hints that some businesses and organizations might require that your bring proof of a recent negative Covid-19 test to gain access. In fact, they’ve implemented a smart phone app called the Navica Pass to support this.
- Mar 30: White House says there will not be a US government issued “vaccine passport” and is leaving that up to the private sector to implement. A separate news report says that vaccine passports are expected to be free and available via smart phone app. Not clear how they support those not having a smart phone.
- Mar 27: Thailand waives quarantine for fully vaccinated tourists.
- Mar 27: Nepal waives quarantine requirement for vaccinated tourists.
- Mar 27: European leaders call for vaccine passport as a “matter of urgency”
- Mar 26: New York officially launches a vaccine passport, called the Excelsior Pass. Will be used to access events and entertainment, even large weddings and potentially other businesses such as restaurants and bars.
- Mar 22: US travel industry issues joint request to White House for a plan, by May, to lift international travel restrictions and implement vaccine passport standards by May. The CDC has responded by saying Americans should not travel, domestically or internationally (except this does not apply to elite people like Eric Feigl-Ding, Ph.D.).
- Mar 21: CEO of Qantas Airlines says most governments will require proof of vaccination for country entry, and where governments do not enforce that most airlines will enforce it. He has previously said that proof of vaccination would be required on Qantas international flights by mid-2021.
- Mar 20: Royal Caribbean Cruises announces “fully vaccinated cruises” starting in June. All travelers must be fully vaccinated in order to board. I understand the typical cruise ship traveler is over age 55 – and often much older – hence, since everyone age 65+ and most over age 55 (except my state) are eligible for vaccination now, this means most of their clientele will be “fully vaccinated” by June.
- Mar 17: EU proposes “vaccine certificates” for those who have been vaccinated, have immunity from having had the virus, or who test negative for Covid-19. Would only apply to vaccines approved by the EU.
- Mar 16: Iceland opens borders to anyone who has proof of vaccine privilege.
- Mar 16: White house says vaccine passports “should be free, private and secure”.
- Mar 16: Qantas Trials Commonpass Digital Health Pass on Repatriation Flights. Will likely begin using the tech sometime from summer to October.
- Mar 15: “Mastercard is working to adapt its payments network to support a system that allows health care providers and other organizations to verify patients’ coronavirus vaccination status.”
- Mar 15: Japan considering vaccine passports for travel
- Mar 13: France begins testing a vaccine passport.
- Mar 13: China eases visa and foreigner entrance requirements if you’ve had a China-made Covid-19 vaccine. The ultimate in selective vaccine privilege.
- Mar 13: Chicago Tribune columnist, after getting vaccinated, now supports vaccine passports. Of course he does-he has vaccine privilege, which he fails to acknowledge.
- Mar 13: A columnist for Bloomberg thinks we should have vaccine passports in order to encourage people to become vaccinated, oblivious that many of us already want to be vaccinated And yes, this columnist has already been vaccinated and fails to see his own vaccine privilege.
- Mar 11: Massachusetts introduces vaccine passport for the vaccine privileged: Those who are vaccinated no longer need to quarantine for 14-days when arriving in Massachusetts. Proof of vaccination required: Wouldn’t that be called a vaccine passport?
- Mar 9: CDC says it will soon have more guidance for the vaccine privileged regarding travel: “In a statement to CNN on Tuesday, CDC spokesman Jason McDonald said the agency “may update its travel recommendations for fully vaccinated people as more people are vaccinated and we learn more about how vaccines work in the real world. This is something we will be closely watching in the United States.“
- Mar 8: Canadian government says there is “no reliable scientific evidence” that vaccines work for reducing travel restrictions. (And we wonder why there is vaccine hesitancy? Public health “experts” tell us everyday that, apparently, vaccines will not work and we must remain locked down, wearing face masks forever. This is insane.)
- Mar 8: Thai government panel approves vaccine privilege; will issue documents enabling Thai citizens with vaccine privilege to do international travel. Will also cut the days of quarantine for incoming vaccine privileged travelers, may cut that to zero later in 2021.
- Mar 8: Digital vaccine passport to go live in the EU, probably by June.
- Mar 8: Vaccine privilege: CDC says fully vaccinated people can start to have a life again.
- Mar 6: Vaccine passport for access to events in stadiums, arenas and other areas in New York State now being tested. NY is planning to mandate a vaccine passport or a negative Covid-19 test for attendance.
- Mar 6: 65% of Britons support use of vaccine passports for access to business and venues; 76% want it required for international travelers arriving in the UK.
- Mar 2: China to propose vaccine passports. Will end quarantine requirements for those with BOTH vaccination and negative Covid-19 test.
- Mar 2: CDC set to announce that those with vaccine privilege may meet with other vaccine privileged people including families and friends, indoors, without masks – at a date that is still TBD.
- Mar 1: Royal Caribbean Cruises to start “fully vaccinated” sails from Israel. All passengers age 16+ and all crew must be vaccinated. The ships will dock in Greece and Cyprus, which will allow disembarking for those with vaccine privilege.
- Feb 27: EU Ministers agree to develop a vaccine passports within the next 3 months and availability for the EU by summer. Formal proposal will be coming in March. As of now, there is is no end foreseen to travel restrictions.
- Feb 27: Vaccine privileged: “Hottest” trend on dating apps is to boast you are already vaccinated.
- Feb 27: Chile’s government is considering an Israel-like immunity certificate for access to businesses, events and travel.
- Feb 27: Majority of Germans want vaccine passports (after vaccine is widely available which may be as late as September)
- Feb 27: British Airways ask the government to support “digital health certificates” (aka vaccine passports) to enable flying to resume.
- Feb 26: Fauci says that those with vaccine privilege may be allowed to socialize again.
- Feb 26: Pennsylvania no longer requires quarantines for the vaccine privileged.
- Feb 26: LA Times columnist *finally* notices “vaccine privilege” when his wife gets vaccinated but he can’t get vaccinated – and discovers a two-tiered society. (Which I have noted for over 2 months now.)
- Feb 25: Quebec says they intend to offer their own vaccine passport for access to businesses. No date yet set.
- Feb 25: Johns Hopkins public health doctors say we should have business evenings or days with access restricted to those with vaccine privilege.
- Feb 25: Multiple cruise ship companies have announced that vaccine privilege will be required to book and board ships.
- Feb 25: UK-based skilled nursing centers say proof of vaccination will be required to visit family members living there – even when 100% of residents and staff are already vaccinated.
- Feb 25: Milwaukie events organizer thinks vaccine privilege will be required to attend events and festivals as early as the summer of 2021.
- Feb 24: Major corporation thinks vaccine passports will be required to attend domestic events by mid summer.
- Feb 24: EU will approve “vaccine certificate” concept tomorrow.
- 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. The government has appointed a task force to recommend solutions by April.
- 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.