Travel has changed considerably since the outbreak of the coronavirus. We’ve seen the introduction of COVID-19 fit to fly certificates, new in-flight food and drink service experience and now the possibility of COVID vaccination passports. Although a great deal has changed, our love for travel has not. However, many of us have been left wondering what will vaccination passports mean for travel? Read on to find out…
What is a vaccine passport?
Those who receive the COVID vaccination are given a vaccination card. This, alongside their medical records, provides evidence of how many doses they have received and when.
Currently, the UK and many other countries are considering the introduction of ‘formal proof’ to demonstrate an individual’s vaccination status. This will be known as a ‘vaccination passport’. It will most likely be featured alongside the NHS app in digital form.
The progression of the UK vaccination rollout
The UK vaccination rollout began on the 8th December 2020. 33 million people have received at least 1 dose since then and 10 million have received their second dose.
It’s fantastic news, bringing hope for health and travel. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on a visit to a London hospital to see some of the first people getting the jab, said getting vaccinated was “good for you and good for the whole country“.
Chris Rolland, CEO of AllClear says “ A vaccine has transformed fear to hope and will bring forward people’s travel plans.”
By 17th May 2021, when international travel is hoped to resume, many AllClear customers will have the opportunity to travel – whether vaccination passports are implemented or not.
How will vaccination passports affect travel?
If vaccination passports are brought in – some countries may only permit entry to those who can provide them. This could be in addition to negative covid tests in addition to quarantine. Entry requirements will differ from country to country, so make sure you stay up-to-date with the latest travel advice from the FCDO.
Which countries are considering vaccination passports?
Each country will have their own specific requirements and travellers should always check with the FCDO website before travelling. Here are the countries already accepting vaccinated visitors, as reported by The Mirror .
How our customers feel about the vaccination passport.
The statistics mentioned below was taken from the AllClear vaccination survey, February 2021 (2,016 adults)
According to those we surveyed, three in five British adults (61%) back the introduction of vaccine passports. With 45% of people saying they want an overseas holiday this year, vaccine passports are seen as a vehicle to make travel safe again – as well as encouraging more people to take part in the COVID vaccination programme.
At a time when there has been much debate over the impact of vaccine passports on civil liberties – the research found that a third (54%) of people that supported the vaccine passport said that it would be good motivation for people to get vaccinated in the first place.
In addition, 44% of those that backed the vaccine said it would make overseas travel safer – and a further 44% cited the benefits of not having to isolate or quarantine when returning from a holiday abroad.
Further, 41% of people that supported the vaccine passport concept said it would help ensure holidaymakers would be unlikely to suffer from severe Covid-19 disease that might require hospitalisation abroad.
Whilst 61% of people backed the vaccine passport, 30% were against it and 9% were undecided. For those opposed to the vaccine passport, the main concern related to the exclusion of people who chose not to have or were unable to have the vaccine (47%).
In addition, 40% of respondents said vaccine passports were a bad idea because there is no evidence that vaccines reduce transmission or will protect against new variants of COVID. Only 27% of respondents were concerned about the potential impact on data privacy.
Across all age groups, the majority of respondents were in favour of the vaccine passport but support peaked among older people – 62% for 55-64 year-olds and 72% with the over 65s.
What AllClear has to say about vaccination Passports
Chris Rolland CEO of AllClear Insurance commented: “As restrictions begin to lift and with the confidence of the Prime Minister’s promise that each stage of progress is ‘irreversible’ – unlocking travel is a priority for many people. With reports that more than 90% of over 50s have been vaccinated already – and with this age group leading support for the vaccine passport concept – it makes sense to focus on what can be done to make overseas travel safe again.”
“For a country that has notoriously always rejected plans to carry identification, the research suggests there is a greater freedom at stake. After a year of going in and out of lockdowns – with many people not being able to travel to the next town, let alone overseas – our research clearly suggests that the majority of people are willing to do as much as they can to regain their freedom to travel – and this is why there is such support for a vaccine passport.
At AllClear, we specialise in making travel safe for people with medical conditions, to ensure freedom to travel is an equal right for everyone. To this end, vaccination passports will likely have a key role to play in unlocking our freedom to travel as we slowly return to the new normal.”
If you are one of many considering international travel – you’ll need enhanced coronavirus cover. Having the right level of cover in place will protect you and your holiday should the worse happen. For immediate protection, consider our annual multi-trip cover, offering you cover for up to 90 days in advance – giving you peace of mind.
Updated: 20 April 2021
Author notes. By Lydia Crispin, MA, AllClear Medical and Travel Content Creator. “It’s important that our customers have confidence when they travel. I enjoy writing the latest-travel insights and industry updates so that each and every person can make well-informed travel decisions”
Edited by Letitia Smith, MSc, Content Manager at AllClear.