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Will you need a vaccine passport? How travel may look in the near future

Virus Outbreak Holiday Travel
Posted at 5:00 AM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 11:22:34-05

PHOENIX — Are you hoping to travel this year? With more COVID-19 testing and vaccines, some are already making travel plans for in the few months ahead.

But how will travel look in the future?

Scott Keyes with Scott's Cheap Flights says it could involve on-site testing.

"In the airport parking lot having rapid testing sites so you can show up, get tested. You could get results in 15 minutes," said Keyes.

Right now, different countries have different test and quarantine requirements.

A negative COVID test is required to come into the United States.

While there's been discussion of negative tests needed for domestic travel, it has so far been ruled out.

Keyes thinks for many countries, the game changer is the vaccine.

"Yes, we're going to allow folks who've been vaccinated to bypass the normal requirements of testing or quarantining," he said could be an option.

While U.S. tourists are still prevented from traveling to most European Union countries, Iceland, Cyprus and Poland are now allowing in visitors from some countries with proof of vaccinations.

And how would you show that proof?

Keyes said it could be a vaccine passport. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is developing one called a "travel pass".

It's aphone app allowing you to see a country's COVID requirements and to store and share test results and vaccine information.

IBM's "health pass" goes further. Its website says the pass could also be used for "large scale events such as a game, concert or amusement park."

The country of Bahrain has already developed a vaccine passport. Denmark, Sweden and other countries are talking about it.

The vaccine passports would also be available on paper.

There is some pushback with some calling the passports unfair to countries that must wait for vaccines.