A Vaccine Passport Will Be Your Golden Ticket as the World Reopens

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For tourism-dependent businesses battered by the yearlong pandemic, so-called vaccine passports may offer the best route back to normality. The airline industry, for instance, is backing a range of tech solutions to verify passengers’ Covid vaccination or testing status, and a handful of apps have been rolled out.

Advocates say that once established in the travel sector, such digital passes could hold the key to a wider reopening of society, such as business meetings, conventions, sports events and concerts. Ultimately some gyms, bars, restaurants, and even shops could also rely on the new vaccination documents to help patrons gain easier access.

But not everyone is a fan.

None of the available shots is 100% effective, meaning travelers with vaccine passports could in theory continue to spread the virus. Some vaccines, such as Russia’s Sputnik V, haven’t been cleared in many other parts of the world. And then there’s the issue of fairness.

The passports would inevitably favor rich nations over poorer ones, where the distribution of shots has barely begun. They’d initially open up travel to a cohort of the elderly and middle-aged that have been prioritized for inoculation, leaving younger people effectively under travel curfew. And then there’s data privacy concerns.

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