All your travel plans must have got washed away in 2020. With the pandemic spreading like wildfire, international flights remained suspended for a long time. Did you miss out on your vacation or an important business trip?
Now that the COVID 19 vaccine is out in the market, passengers have heaved a sigh of relief. You can now set out to resume your travel plans in 2021. However, the governments of various countries and airlines might require you to take the vaccine before boarding the flight. You may have to show them the document known as the vaccine passport. It is a digital document that records your immunisation.
Do You Require A Vaccine Passport For International Travel?
The International Air Transport Association ( IATA) has developed a digital vaccine passport for all international travellers. You can also call it the IATA travel pass.
The digital document will keep a record of your health, including your vaccination and COVID 19 test results. You can easily share these with your airlines and the border authorities. So, you don't have to carry any physical documents. There is no reason to worry about the vaccine passport getting misplaced.
A travel passport may be required if you are flying overseas to another country. As of now, passengers will not need it for their domestic journey. However, itis better to keep your eyes and ears open for the latest updates. In these changing times, most airlines will try to be extra cautious.
What Makes It Necessary?
There is a hope of fresh air after the arrival of the vaccine. However, you have to remember that the pandemic is far from over. Many people are getting affected every day, so you must take all the safety measures. In this situation, no airline authorities would want their flights to serve as vectors for the coronavirus. They would like to ensure that all their passengers are immune to the virus, and no one is a carrier. After all, international travel provides the best way for the virus to spread. And we should leave no stone unturned to prevent it from spreading to places where it hasn't reached yet.
Do You Need To Take COVID 19 Vaccine To Travel?
Presently, if you are on a domestic trip, you do not need to take the vaccine. What about foreign trips? If you are moving out of the UK or the US, the rules are not clear yet. However, it might soon become necessary to take the vaccine if you cross the borders on a flight. IATA has already developed the vaccine passport, but the vaccines are not available for everyone in the market. The governments of various countries have set their priorities. They will roll out in several phases. The first on the list would be the health workers. It includes the doctors, nurses, and cleaning staff at the hospitals. After that, the workers in high-risk conditions would get vaccinated and then the elderly. It will take a long time before the vaccine is available to the common man. So, it is improbable that the airlines will make it compulsory to take the vaccine before boarding international flights.
When the vaccines are widely available in the common market, you will have to take them before international travel. No airline operators will be willing to take risks and spread the virus further. Qantas is the first airline operator to state that taking the vaccine will be compulsory for international travel once it is widely available.
What Is The Decision Of The Government?
Different countries' governments have not yet decided whether they would ask travellers to get vaccinated before entering their country. Probably, it is the flight operators who will determine first. However, certain countries like Israel are issuing a green passport once you take the vaccine. It will remove the quarantine restrictions from you and also give access to public places and cultural events. Travellers can get a green passport after completing their dose of vaccination. Other countries are yet to decide on the issue. The US citizens can only get to know the government's opinion after the Bieden administration starts functioning in a full-fledged manner.
Should You Get An IATA Health Pass?
Well, you must get your IATA health pass before travelling abroad. Even if you have not taken the vaccine yet, we recommend you make your IATA health pass. It will allow you to upload your medical details into the document. When you take the vaccine, you can update it there. Moreover, this health card will also store your COVID 19 test results. It is a digital document and will serve as your vaccine passport when you travel abroad on a flight.
How To Travel Till The Vaccine Is Widely Available?
You might have to go on an urgent trip abroad. What will you do? Do not worry. Airlines are taking the best possible measures to ensure the safety of their passengers. Pre-travel testing is the best option. Tests have become widely prevalent nowadays. It will also give you peace of mind. Moreover, the flight authorities will also get assured that you are not a potential carrier.
Apart from that, you have to take all the necessary precautions, like wearing a mask and frequently sanitising your hands. After you reach your destination, there would be a 14 days quarantine that you need to follow. These measures will keep you safe until the vaccine is available to the general public.
Your health is an invaluable asset. Never compromise with it. It is better not to travel abroad until you have immunised yourself against the virus. However, if you have urgent work, there is no other option. In that case, you have to follow all the safety precautions and guidelines. Sooner or later, the vaccine passport will become a necessity for international travel and do away with all your anxieties. Till then, stay safe and take care of your health.