As several countries around the world either impose or extend their travel restrictions in the wake of the pandemic, travelers can be forgiven for thinking that their prospects for travel in 2021 are slim. However, recent announcements by Denmark and Sweden suggest that brighter days may be around the corner.
The two Scandinavian countries have announced that they are to introduce a digital vaccine certificate for their citizens, which may be the answer to the travel and leisure issues facing people around the world. Here’s more information about digital vaccine passports, the plans in Denmark and Sweden and other uses they may have.
Re-cap for Travelers – What is a Vaccine Passport?
Vaccine passports have been cited by many as a potential solution to the travel problems facing the world at present. Vaccine passports are either physical or digital documents that will hold information on whether or not a passenger has had a vaccine for coronavirus. In some iterations, the may also be able to include information about recent Covid-19 test results, including the outcome, the date and details about the facility where the test took place. Some versions have also been called “digital passports” or “digital vaccine certificates”.
There are several companies working on the creation and implementation of such systems at present, with many having come to fruition in the form of a smartphone app. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has recently partnered with leading carriers Etihad Airways and Emirates to trial their Travel Pass app, where customers are able to create a digital passport to store information about test results. This allows for a smoother check-in process as information can be passed on to the airline prior to checking in for a flight.
Denmark and Sweden’s Plans
It has been a busy week for travel news in Europe, but in amongst the negative news of further restrictions for Spain, Germany and Portugal, a glimmer of hope came from Scandinavia. Denmark announced its intention to develop a digital vaccine certificate on Wednesday, whilst Sweden announced the same a day later.
Both countries revealed that the certificates would be designed to allow their citizens to travel abroad. At present, there is a growing number of countries that allow vaccinated travelers to enter, with Iceland, Poland, Georgia and many more allowing the inoculated to enter. As time goes on and the number of vaccinated people increases, that list is bound to grow.
Both countries announced that they would ensure that the passes had a level of certification that would see them compatible with any international certificates that may be developed in the future. Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Union (EU) have discussed the creation of such documents, but nothing concrete has been delivered yet.
Not Just For Travel
Both Denmark and Sweden suggested that the certificates could have a wider use than just for international travel purposes. Speaking about the ease at which the certificates could be checked, it was suggested that they could be used for different events, such as sporting events or cultural events.
Whilst there has been some opposition to the idea of vaccine passports, the prolonged stillness of travel and tourism has caused immeasurable damage to the economy, society and life for millions around the world, and their introduction may just herald a return to normality for many.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories