United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has called for global adoption of vaccination passports as a measure for safe travel across the globe.
The move has been made in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that brought the world down on its knees before an effective fight against the killer disease could be made and the much awaited vaccine against virus could see the light of the day.
The announcement made by UNWTO secretary general Zurab Pololikashcili makes it clear that Vaccine Passport may turn out to be the most important travel document.
Significantly, with countries reopening borders, the cry for a globally-acceptable digital Vaccine Passport is getting louder by the day. It is also being argued that soon Vaccine Passports will be a de facto requirement by individual countries to prove immunity.
The recent UNWTO meeting called upon international health and travel bodies to step up the coordination of a standardised digital certification system, as well as harmonised testing protocols.
While the talk of Vaccine Passport becoming ‘inevitable’ is gaining ground, this is not the first time an extra travel document is on the verge of becoming mandatory.
Earlier, mandatory Yellow Card was essential as proof of vaccination against yellow fever.
This protocol came to stay about 88 years ago after the first International Certificate of Inoculation and Vaccination was established by the International Sanitary Convention for Aerial Navigation in 1933 in The Hague, Netherlands, and then later adopted by the World Health Organisation.
Iceland has become the first country in the Schengen region to issue vaccination certificates.
According to the official website, vaccination certificates that meet the guidelines laid down by the Chief Epidemiologist of and issued in an EEA/EFTA state will be valid at the Icelandic border.
Those presenting such a certificate are exempt from official border restrictions and are therefore not obliged to undergo a screening.
As informed by SchengenVisaInfo.com, travellers could be asked to present proof they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to be eligible to enter the Schengen Area Member States and the European Union.
Countries of the two regions named above like Denmark, Cyprus and Hungry among others have already made the rules mandatory or are working towards making Vaccine Passport mandatory.
The pandemic has given rise to the need for a globally-acceptable Vaccine Passport. Several non-profit and technology companies are working towards creating a secure and verifiable digital passport
The World Health Organisation is developing digital standards for more secure vaccine pass that will be tamper-proof and accommodate new global standards.
On the other hand, the World Economic Forum and a broad coalition of public and private partners are collaborating to launch CommonPass, a globally-interoperable platform for people to document their COVID-19 status .