How to prove that you are vaccinated in 2021
This article was originally published on May 13, 2021 on our sister site, Planet alone. Some information may have been updated to be more current.
While many countries are speeding up the administration of COVID-19[female[feminine vaccines, travel is resuming cautiously in some destinations. But how do airlines and governments keep up with travelers who have been hit? What about digital health passports, vaccine or negative test evidence, and digital travel card applications? Here’s what you need to know.
If you see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel as global vaccinations increase, you are not alone. Millions of people have already been vaccinated against this terrible disease, and if you feel like seeing friends and relatives, or just exploring the world again, that is a huge comfort.
It is important to know that some airlines and governments may require proof of vaccination before you can travel. Some already require it. And since there is no common system, it may mean that you have to take the initiative and prepare for some quite unglamorous paperwork.
Some countries or regions are developing their own “vaccine passport” application systems to start travel. Some may be included in your airline’s app, and others are separate. They work in different ways, but they are mainly based on entering, processing and outputting documents proving either your test status or your vaccination information.
On the entry side, an app could be automatically linked to private testing companies, use QR codes like the EU digital COVID certificate, or ask you to take and send a photo of your document before you travel. Since a vaccination record is the key to unlocking a trip, it’s a good idea to laminate all documents or put them in a folder.
On the exit side, the idea is for your app to automatically tell the airline’s system if the document you sent them means you’re ready to fly. However, it may need the help of a real human data center, some AI analysis, or most likely a combination of the two.
When you are vaccinated, your vaccination certificate should show your name, the date of your vaccination (or your vaccinations – if you are getting a two-shot vaccine, especially be sure to keep track of the second document), the healthcare professional who administered, the vaccine administered, the vaccine lot number and the location of the administration center.
If you live in a location where English is not the language of your healthcare system documents, it may be helpful to create an English translation printout for your doctor or other healthcare professional to stamp and sign. .
It is also a good idea to keep track of correspondence between you and your vaccinator, such as appointment confirmations for vaccines. This is unlikely to be needed when traveling, but it doesn’t hurt to have that extra proof detail just in case.
There is no standard travel vaccination certificate, and there is no single air system that handles the different vaccination and testing requirements. The closest we currently have to a global standard is the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Global Passport, which is currently being tested with 22 airlines.
In general, the process is likely to become more complicated as new vaccines and variants emerge. But in the meantime, it depends on where you are traveling and how you get there.
The European Union (EU) recently implemented the EU’s COVID digital certificate, which makes it easier to travel between its member states.
The certificate is proof that an individual traveler has received a negative COVID-19 test result, has recovered from the virus, or has actually been inoculated against COVID-19 from vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency, including Moderna, Pfizer / BioNTech, AstraZeneca Vaccines and Johnson & Johnson.
However, member states may decide to accept travelers who have received another vaccine, such as those listed by the World Health Organization for emergency use.
Here’s how it works, according to the EU: The certificate is valid in all EU countries and will be issued by hospitals, testing centers or health authorities in the individual’s home country. The information can be stored on a mobile device, with the individual’s COVID-19-related health information displayed in the national language as well as in English.
Officials claim that the information stored will be safe and secure – the certificate is based on a QR code with a digital signature to protect it from tampering. A paper format is also available on request.
The EU’s digital COVID certificate is currently not available to travelers from the US, but US travelers can still traveling in Europe now that it has been added to the list of approved EU countries. Different countries have different requirements for entry. Greece, Croatia, and Iceland, for example, accept vaccinated travelers if they present digital or paper public health vaccination cards or proof of vaccination upon arrival. Americans can present their CDC-issued vaccination card, while UK travelers can use their paper NHS card.
Cyprus also accepts vaccinated travelers, but will not accept paper certificates. Instead, travelers should upload their immunization data to the Cyprus Flight Pass platform before the journey. Many EU countries also accept tourists who test negative on the RT-PCR test.
Meanwhile, Great Britain, which is no longer in the EU, plans to use its NHS app to display the holder’s testing and vaccination status. The UK government is currently working with partners around the world to ensure the system can be recognized internationally.
The United States is still closed to international travelers, whether or not they have been vaccinated. When travel resumes, it is likely that people will need to show proof of vaccination to enter. At present, there is no standard vaccination certificate, so local governments and private companies are introducing theirs.
Last month, New York City became the first state to introduce a COVID-19 vaccine pass to jumpstart its economy and resume concerts, sporting events and major cultural events. Called on Excelsior collar, it allows the holder to prove his vaccination status via a smartphone application or a printout. It is not available as a travel pass – it only recognizes results from New York test centers. But as travel picks up, we might see apps like this grow across the country.
Israel took the lead in vaccine passports after rapid vaccine rollout. May 23 the country opened up to a small group of vaccinated travelers, who are yet to be tested for COVID-19, before resuming tourism later this summer.
Now retired thanks to a low number of COVID-19 cases, Israel’s “green pass” has proven that citizens have been vaccinated or cured of the virus. It was available in digital or paper format and linked to the holder’s health data. It is not clear if the app will be rolled out for international travel.