What is a COVID vaccine passport and how can you get one for your international tour? – Complete details of vaccine passports and international tour
Travel and tourism is undoubtedly one of those industries worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the world in lock down, international travelers facing long quarantine periods, and crowding and partying affected by social distancing norms, travel enthusiasts have suffered. Moreover, many countries have put their barriers up and imposed travel restrictions. All these have pulled the brakes on tourism, and the industry came to a screeching halt.
However, with the invention of vaccines and the world governments conducting a unified effort to vaccinate everyone, the tourism industry is in a revival stage. Now there is a universal conscience that those who are vaccinated can travel without having to take repeated RT-PCR tests and undergoing a quarantine period.
To certify the person’s immunity, vaccine passports are given to the vaccinated.
What is a vaccine passport?
A vaccine passport is an official certificate that shows that the holder is vaccinated and is immunized against Coronavirus. Issued by the government and medical authority, this document will grant you the freedom to travel, access public areas and workspaces.
Put simply, a vaccine passport is your ticket to freedom from the COVID-19 restrictions.
How to get a vaccine passport?
Quite simple. Get vaccinated. The authorities will issue a document certifying that you got vaccinated. Bingo! you have got a vaccine passport. You may get the document as a hard copy or digital certificate, depending on the country you reside in.
In India, you can download the vaccine passport from the website https://cowin.gov.in. All you need to add is the passport information in the ‘Add details’ section in the website. By clicking the declaration box and submitting the application, the certificate will be available for download.
By presenting the vaccine passport, you can travel and gain back the long-lost freedom, at least to an extent.
However, there is a flip side to this. From the various vaccines— Pfizer, Moderna, Covishield, Covaxin, Sputnik V and so on— different countries have approved different ones and rejected others. This has affected the universality of vaccine passports.
For example, Covishield, which is an approved and widely administered vaccine in India, is not accepted by European Union. Its effectiveness has been questioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO) also. So when someone from India presents a vaccine passport in the hope of traveling to Europe, he may not be permitted.
Many have argued that vaccination passports can also cause a rift in society between vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Those who could not or preferred not to get vaccinated will be discriminated against and will face difficulty traveling and accessing public places. This, political observers believe, is an infringement of civil liberty.
Ethicists and civil liberty advocates have hence questioned the fairness of vaccine passports. Moreover, as health details have to be provided to get the certificate, many believe that it is an encroachment into their privacy.
A mandatory document for travelers
Such controversies aside, a vaccine passport is the first step towards the pre-Covid conditions. With measures like these, we can slowly but surely move past the havoc caused by the pandemic.
If you love to travel, you will have to get a vaccine passport or risk the repeated tests and quarantine period. It will make the tour inconvenient and complex. The document vanquishes all such difficulties. As the name indicates, it is a passport, not only for travel but to a world without restrictions.