Vaccine passports are ‘inevitable’, aviation expert says

Laura Hampson
·3 min read
A vaccine 'passport' could soon be required to travel (stock image used) (Getty)
A vaccine 'passport' could soon be required to travel (stock image used) (Getty)

Intending to head abroad this summer? You may need a vaccine passport for that.

Countries like Greece, Spain and Denmark have said that travellers could be allowed to visit this summer if they have been vaccinated against coronavirus and an aviation expert has said a vaccine passport is “inevitable”.

Aviation analyst Alex Macheras told Good Morning Britain that vaccine passports are “inevitable and we should prepare for it”.

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Brian Strutton, general secretary of British pilot union BALPA added: “People are desperate to get travelling again, and if a vaccine passport is what is needed, then we fully support it.

“What would be better still is a globally-recognised vaccine passport. Many actors are working on their own version but we need a global solution to this global problem."

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Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News there is currently no plan to have a vaccine passport in the UK, but he added that potential travellers would be able to ask their GP for written proof of vaccination.

Zahawi said: “One, we don't know the impact of the vaccines on transmission. Two, it would be discriminatory and I think the right thing to do is to make sure that people come forward to be vaccinated because they want to, rather than it be made in some way mandatory through a passport.

“If other countries obviously require some form of proof, then you can ask your GP, because your GP will hold your records and that will then be able to be used as your proof you've had the vaccine. But we are not planning to have a passport in the UK.”

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Spain's foreign minister has said vaccine passports is something the country is 'heading towards' (Getty)
Spain's foreign minister has said vaccine passports is something the country is 'heading towards' (Getty)

Foreign Office minister James Cleverly also told BBC 4 that it was “not an uncommon practice” for countries to require documentation on vaccines and that the UK is ready to work with other countries to “help facilitate” proof of vaccination.

Greece has said it will waive quarantine regulations starting in May for arrivals who can show documentation that they have received the coronavirus vaccine.

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Iceland has already started providing vaccination certificates to its citizens and has said it will recognise similar certificates issued from EU or Schengen countries.

Denmark and Sweden are also in the process of rolling out digital passports for citizens which will allow them to travel, dine at restaurants and go to concerts.

Last month, Spain’s Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez said: “Vaccine certification is something we are going towards inevitably. It will be a very important element to guarantee a safe return to mobility.”

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