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Vaccine Passports List: United States, Europe, Asia Updates and More

What exactly are vaccine passports? The short answer involves a document — either analog or digital — that verifies your COVID-19 immunization status. The vaccine passport, in theory, will allow inoculated people to more freely travel, shop, dine, attend sporting events, concerts and more, according to the Associated Press.

Still, vaccine passports also raise potential privacy, data security, equality and ethics concerns. This blog, updated regularly, tracks the status of vaccine passports worldwide, the technology involved, problems they strive to solve, and the ethical concerns they potentially raise.

Here are the latest updates sorted alphabetically…

ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union): Multiple Updates…

  • A system of immunity passports in the United States threatens to exacerbate racial disparities and harm the civil liberties of all. Source: ACLU, May 18, 2020.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union says “any proposal for vaccine credentials must be primarily paper-based, decentralized, and protect privacy.” Source: ACLU, March 31, 2021.

Arkansas (United States): Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson says there are no plans for the state government to implement a Covid-19 “vaccine passport” program for Arkansans.  Source: CBS News Affiliate, April 6, 2021.

California (United States): Multiple updates…

  • Tomás Aragón, director of the California Department of Public Health, said the state is interested in developing standards for a vaccination passport system that would be developed by the private sector. Source: San Francisco Chronicle, April 4, 2021.
  • The Orange County Health Care Agency plans to launch a vaccine passport pilot program in April 2021, though some critics are pushing back against the plan. Source: ABC News, April 13, 2021.

European Union: Multiple updates…

  • Two of Europe’s biggest airlines, British Airways and budget carrier Ryanair Holdings, have started allowing fliers to provide Covid-19 vaccination and test-result details alongside personal data, like passport numbers and visa information, during bookings. The airlines say the move will eventually help passengers show they have been inoculated when landing at destinations that have started to welcome vaccinated travelers. Source: The Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2021.
  • Airlines are resisting early European Union plans that could push some of the costs and responsibility for implementing vaccination passports onto the industry. The EU is moving ahead with plans to roll out a “Digital Green Certificate”—a document to store Covid-19 information such as vaccination records and test results. Governments, airports and airlines hope that will spur travel across the bloc by making it easier to check if passengers have been inoculated. Source: The Wall Street Journal, April 3, 2021.

Florida (United States): Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order banning the use of Covid-19 passports in the state. The order prohibits any government entity from issuing vaccine passports and blocks businesses from requiring any such documentation. DeSantis cited freedom and privacy concerns as the primary basis for the action, arguing that the implementation and enforcement of vaccine passports would “create two classes of citizens based on vaccinations.” Source: CNN, April 3, 2021.

Hawaii: Multiple updates…

  • Governor David Ige said state os looking into piloting a possible safe travels vaccine passport. Source: Khon2, April 5, 2021.
  • Governor Ige’s latest emergency proclamation for COVID-19 includes detailed plans for a vaccine passport provision. The proclamation said those who are fully vaccinated would be able to avoid quarantine and COVID-19 testing when flying to Hawaii by uploading valid vaccination documents to Safe Travels. The vaccine passport provision will go into effect only if it is approved by the director of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency. Ige did not provide a timeline for when this will become available. Source: Honolulu Civil Beat, April 10, 2021.

Israel: Multiple updates…

  • Israelis in possession of a “Green Pass” — certificate of presumed COVID-19 immunity, displayed on an Israeli Health Ministry app — will be allowed entry to leisure facilities such as gyms and hotels. Source: Reuters, February 15, 2021.
  • The Green Pass is given to any person who has been vaccinated for COVID-19 or recovered from COVID-19. It serves as a mandatory entry permit to certain places according to guidance. Source: Israel, February 17, 2021.

Korea: The government said it would adopt a vaccine passport in April, though some officials are skeptical of the plan. Source: Korea Biomedical Review, April 9, 2021.

Louisiana (United States): State leaders are weighing in on the possibility of businesses or airlines requiring people to carry around a vaccine passport. Source: WAFB9, April 6, 2021.

Minnesota (United States): A bill, known as SF 1589 aims to ban forced COVID-19 vaccinations, forced digital contact tracing, and required proof of COVID-19 vaccination before entering a government business. Source: SouthernMinn, April 5, 2021.

Montana (United States): Governor Greg Gianforte issued an executive order banning the development or use of vaccine passports in Montana. Source: Associated Press, April 13, 2021.

New York (United States): The Excelsior Pass allows New Yorkers to upload their official coronavirus results—from a number of different vaccination sites and labs—into the system to verify that the person holding the pass meets the standards to enter a venue for mass gatherings. Source: Conde Nast Traveller, April 2, 2021.

Pennsylvania (United States):

South Carolina (United States): Multiple updates…

    • In a tweet, Governor Henry McMaster said “Vaccine passports will have no place in South Carolina. The very idea un-American to its core.” Source: ABC News, April 5, 2021.
    • Congresswoman Nancy Mace (SC-01) and members of the South Carolina congressional delegation penned a letter strongly opposing the use of vaccine passports in the state. Source: Congresswoman Nancy Mace, April 5, 20221.

Tennessee (United States): Governor Bill Lee on April 6, 2021 took to social media to oppose any kind of legislation calling for a vaccine passport mandate. Source: WHJL, April 6, 2021.

Texas (United States): Texas government agencies and political subdivisions will not be allowed to create a so-called “vaccine passport” requirement, according to a an Executive Order filed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Source: KHOU 11, April 6, 2021.

United Kingdom: Multiple updates…

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government will test out a contentious “vaccine passport” system — a way for people to offer proof they have protection from COVID-19 — as a tool to help travel and large events return safely. Source: The Associated Press, April 4, 2021.
  • Vaccine passports, or “COVID Status Certificates” as they are officially known, are being trialed at major sporting events in the UK, with the hope that mass events can open as safely as possible, and could provide a model for the future. But some critics are pushing back against the plan. Source: ABC News, April 12, 2021.

United States (Federal): Multiple updates…

  • The Biden administration and private companies are working to develop a standard way of handling credentials — often referred to as “vaccine passports” — that would allow Americans to prove they have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus as businesses try to reopen. Source: The Washington Post, March 28, 2021.
  • GOP lawmakers and leading conservatives have decried potential vaccine passports as akin to intrusive surveillance tactics employed by the Chinese government, but health experts say this is overblown and that some form of digital health pass could be crucial in bringing a sense of normalcy back to the US.  Source: Business Insider, March 30, 2021.
  • The federal government will not mandate the use of vaccine passports for travelers or businesses post-pandemic, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told the Politico Dispatch podcast. Source: Axios, April 5, 2021.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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