The Vaccine Passports Are Coming

With the current COVID crisis not going away, and as and other sites have reported, based on information and reports from multiple news outlets, government reports, and private studies, because there is a strong chance this virus will not fully disappear until about 2027 (another politically interesting year), the question is if “vaccine passports”, or essentially travel documents, will be require to travel between nations. According to France24, while not being required, many nations around the world seem to be moving to adopt such a system.

From digital certificates to “health passports”, countries and airlines across the globe are hoping to relaunch travel by letting people prove their Covid-free status.

But with patchy vaccine access around the world and mounting concerns over data privacy, questions are swirling about how the measures will work in practice.

Most programmes under development are geared towards facilitating travel and come in the form of smartphone apps with varying criteria for a clean bill of health.

Vaccine passports, for example, are a popular way to approach proof of immunity with jab rollouts underway across the globe.

There are also apps that accept positive antibody tests as proof of immunity for those who have had the virus and recovered.

But the World Health Organization has warned that there is no evidence to show that recovered Covid sufferers with antibodies are protected from a second infection.

French President Emmanuel Macron recently suggested yet another, more localised form of Covid-free permission slip: the so-called “health pass”.

This certification would only be valid within France’s borders but would allow a fully vaccinated person to, for example, eat in restaurants and attend certain events.

– Is it an official travel document? –

No, and there is currently no effort underway to establish a required document to travel between countries.

The Chinese health passport is an attempt to make it easier for its citizens to travel abroad, but without recognition from other countries it is of little use.

For the moment, the applications are meant to facilitate various health checks still in place at different borders, with airlines among major proponents.

Through several of its member carriers, the International Air Transport Association has been offering a digital pass allowing passengers to easily prove their health status before boarding.

– Can we make it official? –

Making health passports stricter or requiring them for travel could invite legal challenges.

A major worry is that banning unvaccinated people from travelling would exacerbate inequality since access to jabs is far from universal.

There are also concerns over how applications would access users’ personal data.

The important word for saying that these ‘vaccine passports’ are not required ‘currently.’

This is how all things start that eventually become required. First it is they are made ‘voluntary’, then ‘highly recommended’, then ‘really recommended and while not required at the current time if you don’t have it you are going to be treated with some form of contempt’, until eventually, compliance is forced with the full threat and force of law.

This is a trend to look for. It was joked for a long time, that “Your Papers, Please” (Deine Papieren, bitte) from World War II Germany was one of the signs of social control and an oppressive government. Given how COVID is more than a virus but is being used to justify policies, it may come to pass that these “vaccine passports” just may come to serve as a modern variant of that from the past, not about a virus so much as about being able to monitor and control the movements of people.

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