No British vaccination passports

By | Category: Travel news

That was the response from the vaccines minister, Nadhim Zawahi, on BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this morning.

What will other countries make essential for entry? A digital passport, a doctor’s note?

But like all politicians making utterances, there was an escape possibility. He said that this wasn’t the plan which means it may not be today but it might be tomorrow.

He said that because vaccinations weren’t compulsory and there would be people who wouldn’t be vaccinated, setting up a vaccination passport would discriminate against those not having one. There are also civil liberties issues both of which thoughts I accept.

His suggestion is that people get a letter from their doctors confirming that they have been vaccinated.

About three weeks ago, Just about Travel reported that Qantas, Air Asia and Qatar Airlines would insist on a vaccination before allowing us to fly on their planes. Saga says vaccinations will be mandatory in order to sail on their ships and Norwegian Cruise Lines is considering the same thing.

Greece is pushing for an EU vaccination passport and has support from other countries.

IATA and a number of private companies are developing just such as “passport”

Whether people like it or not, if you want to travel to many parts of the world this year it looks like you are going to need to prove that you will have had either the single dose vaccine or the two dose version.

Getting a letter from you doctor will lead to forgeries being available just as there are forged PCR test certificates. Having a digital form is less open to be a forgery but I accept that some clever hacker is likely to come up with something.

We will need to see whether a country will accept a doctor’s certificate for such an important purpose. How can they check that it is genuine will be the questions customs and borders people will ask themselves. Will passengers hang around whilst checking ensues? Can it be checked in advance of the flight, the sailing or the train or road journey?  Will it have to state what vaccine and what batch numbers were used and when each of the jabs was given?

The more detailed the information, the longer the time it will take doctors to provide them.

Can doctors physically produce a couple of million letters by the summer including verification of who received what?

The British government should be talking to other governments and in particular the EU commission to find out what will be and won’t be acceptable for visitors to their countries.

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