Countries push for vaccine passports and what the UN recommends of them

Recommendations for the vaccine passport. 

The United Nations’ World Tourism Organisation has issued a new set of recommendations outlining the top features of vaccine passports. The new suggestions come as the summer season approaches in the Northern Hemisphere. The committee was concerned about the need to “restart tourism.”

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Everyone is counting on a strong tourism season aided by the right COVID-19 certification as 100 million jobs linked to the travel sector remain at stake. The UNWTO expects its member states to avail all Covid-19 travel certifications free of charge and issue them in a non-discriminatory manner.

As part of the proposals countries must:

  • Protect the data of all who acquire the vaccine passports
  • Ensure the certification is present physically and digitally
  • Discontinue certification schemes when the pandemic is no longer viewed as a threat.

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International powers are encouraged to deploy a high degree of solidarity towards “less advantageous countries” when it comes to testing and vaccinations. Inaction by countries such as India, resulted in a huge spike in cases, hence the need for a collective approach. 

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All UN member countries are not bound by the list but are highly encouraged to participate in line with their UN membership. Pascal Lam, the Chairman of the Tourism Ethics Committee, said that a new “global ethical framework” will help in the recovery of the tourism industry. He further called for the removal of financial barriers hampering individuals from accessing the Covid-9 certification as this would be discriminatory, particularly on those whose lives were affected by the pandemic.

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In Europe, more than half of the UK, Malta, Iceland, Serbia, and Hungary populations have been vaccinated. Thus far, several other countries have been left to their own devices to set the right conditions for domestic and international travel. As soon as the Digital Green Certificate is rolled out by the EU, many countries are set to adopt its use.

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The UK to introduce ‘traffic light’ system

The UK is looking to create a traffic light system that stimulates the tourism sector within the bounds of a positive vaccination process. Here non-essential travel will be marked either as green, red, or orange depending on the varying travel requirements. Countries on the green zone and returning to the UK will not be required to quarantine. All red-listed countries must pay to quarantine for 10 days in a hotel. The zones a country falls in will be arrived upon by data and evidence.

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IATA travel pass

IATA, the world’s biggest airline association, has taken a proactive approach by creating an app offering testing and vaccine policy information at one stop. The body has created a globally accessible vaccine passport of sorts (an app) while relying on airline initiatives by some of the major airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Vueling, and Emirates.

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