Vaccine Passport Policies and Technology Conferences: United States, Europe, Asia and More
If you’re seeking to attend face-to-face technology conferences in 2021, you may need a so-called COVID-19 “vaccine passport” to navigate the travel industry (airports, airlines, trains, hotels, etc.), and to enter certain conference centers, stadiums and concert venues in various countries and U.S. states.
For instance: Salesforce Dreamforce 2021 attendees will need to be fully vaccinated to enter U.S. conferences in San Francisco and New York, the cloud CRM software provider says.
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 and meet locally, nationally and internationally.
Vaccine passports surface just as various technology, channel partner and MSP conferences — including ConnectWise IT Nation Connect 2021, DattoCon 2021, Kaseya ConnectIT 2021 and Salesforce Dreamforce 2021 — seek to resume face-to-face formats.
Still, vaccine passports also raise potential privacy, data security, equality and ethics concerns. As a result, some political leaders are pushing back and introducing legislation to ban vaccine passports.
This blog, updated regularly, tracks the status of vaccine passports worldwide, the technology involved, problems they strive to solve, potential ethical concerns, and associated legislation.
Here are the latest updates sorted alphabetically…
ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union): Multiple Updates…
- 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.
Alabama (United States): Multiple updates..
- Alabama lawmakers approved a ban on vaccine passports that would prohibit proof of a coronavirus vaccination to enter a business, school or event. Source: Associated Press, May 17, 2021.
- Governor Kay Ivey signed legislation banning so-called vaccine passports as Alabama becomes the latest state to try to prohibit proof of a coronavirus vaccination to enter a business, school or event. Source: Associated Press, May 24, 2021.
Alaska (United States): Alaska will not require visitors to have a vaccine passport if they want to travel in the state. Republican Governor Mike Dunleavy said that no person will be mandated to prove their vaccine history in order to travel to or around the state. The order will go into effect immediately. Source: Associated Press, April 26, 2021.
Arizona (United States): Governor Doug Ducey banned state and local governments from requiring a “vaccine passport” to receive service or enter an area. Source: Az Mirror, April 19, 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.
Bahrain: Israel and Bahrain reached what Israel calls the world’s first bilateral agreement for mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccine passports for quarantine-free travel between two countries. Source: NPR, April 22, 2021.
Burning Man Festival (Nevada, United States): Multiple updates…
- Burning Man festival organizers may require attendees to prove they have been vaccinated for COVID-19 — if the organizers move forward with plans to hold this year’s counter-culture festival in the Nevada desert. Source: The Associated Press, April 21, 2021.
- The 2021 conference is canceled, which ends debate about whether the event will require vaccine passports. Source: SFist, April 27, 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.
- California will not require an official vaccine passport for residents when it lifts social distancing requirements and capacity limits on June 15, Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly announced. Source: The Mercury News, May 23, 2021.
- The state has no plans to institute a “vaccine passport” system, Governor Gavin Newsom said, again calling such a program unnecessary if more people get the shots. But he left the door open for possible new statewide health restrictions if cases continue spiking and hospital space becomes threatened. Source: ABC News, July 21, 2021.
Canada: Multiple updates…
- Health Minister Patty Hajdu was asked whether Canada would be taking part in a vaccine passport program for international travel, as has been discussed with other countries. “Absolutely,” Hajdu said. “First of all, Canadians need to be able to have the right kind of certification for international travel.” Source: WXYX, May 2, 2021.
- Quebec plans to implement a vaccine passport system by September 2021. Source: Global News, July 8, 2021.
- The Toronto Region Board of Trade is calling on the Ontario government to introduce a vaccine passport system for non-essential business activity, as European nations like France begin to make vaccine passports a part of daily life. Source: Campbell River Mirror, July 13, 2021.
Estonia: The Republic of Estonian Government announced it had gone live with VaccineGuard to support the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and extend its vaccination program with secure and internationally verifiable certificates ensuring the attestation of reliable vaccination with authentic vaccines. Source: Vax Before Travel, April 30, 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.
- American tourists who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able to visit the European Union by mid-2021, the head of the bloc’s executive body said. Source: The New York Times, April 25, 2021.
- Here’s a closer look at how the European Union developed a vaccine passport. Source: TechHQ, June 2, 2021.
- The European Union’s digital vaccine passport system is now live in seven countries, ahead of a full launch for all 27 member states on July 1. Source: MIT Technology Review, June 2, 2021.
Florida (United States): Multiple updates…
- 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.
- A House committee approved a proposal that would limit local emergency orders and make permanent Governor Ron DeSantis’ executive order barring COVID-19 “passports” that would show people have been vaccinated. Source: The Orlando Sun Sentinel, April 19, 2021.
- The Florida House approved a measure that would limit local emergency orders and make permanent Governor Ron DeSantis’ executive order barring COVID-19 vaccine passports. Source: Fox 13, April 28, 2021.
- Norwegian Cruise Line could bypass Florida ports because of the state’s new edict banning businesses from requiring patrons to show proof of vaccination against CBS News, May 7, 2021. . Source:
- More cruise lines are getting the green light to enter the test cruise phase, but a dispute with Florida’s governor over vaccine passports could keep ships from setting sail in Florida this summer. Source: NBC, June 2, 2021.
- Norwegian Cruise Lines is suing Florida after the state banned vaccine passports, saying it cannot safely resume sailings without ensuring its passengers and crew are vaccinated against COVID-19. Source: ABC News, July 13, 2021.
France: The country has started to trial short flights with a tracing app updated to host records of shots and tests, on short flights. Source: Bloomberg, April 28, 2021.
Continue to page two for more vaccine passport updates from various countries, states and organizations. Updates sorted alphabetically.