Traveling By Air May Soon Require Virus Passport
We may soon need new documentation to be allowed to board a flight for airline travel. A proposed "COVID Passport" is being pushed by the major commercial carriers in the US, meaning the decision would be out of airports' hands. Air carriers are telling the Biden administration it needs to take the lead in developing some sort of standardized process to validate COVID-19 “health credentials” for Americans. Airline executives are pushing the issue, saying it would help reopen travel across the country and potentially around the globe.
The idea of a “COVID Passport” is initially geared at helping airlines begin to resume carrying more normal passenger loads. It's also being promoted as a way for people to prove they are safe to others. An airline association says the virus passport could be used to verify safe entry for people to just about any kind of event or venue.
That in turn is raising questions about privacy, personal freedoms, and even whether those who get vaccinated are any safer than anyone else. So far, most virus passport ideas cover vaccination, recovery from virus treatment, or proof of a negative virus test. Everything that may be included is being reviewed on national and international levels.
Major air carriers serving the US say they need something and need it quickly. The International Air Transport Association says there is an absolute need for an accurate, easy to verify, and comprehensive way to verify the health status of potential passengers. Israel is looking at establishing a similar electronic passport that could be used not just for airline travel, but more generalized uses like allowing entry to restaurants and other venues.