5 On Your Side

Ready to travel again? Vaccine passport could be essential

Posted February 12, 2021 5:46 a.m. EST
Updated February 12, 2021 6:37 p.m. EST

Ready to get back to traveling the world? A vaccine passport could help.

It’s not like a typical booklet passport. It’s an app you’d download on your phone.

A travel expert whom 5 On Your Side talked with says it’s the first step to reopening the world, perhaps by this summer when many think countries will again welcome visitors.

What will it take to be able to go? Proof that you’re vaccinated against COVID-19, likely with a digital vaccine passport.

"I think the vaccine passport is going to help travelers by making travel possible to many destinations that are currently off limits to Americans," says Scott Keyes.

The budget travel guru created Scott’s Cheap Flights – a website that emails the best travel deals from airports you pick.

Keyes says vaccine passports are already in use overseas.

Travelers use an app to upload proof of vaccinations.

Companies in the United States, from airlines to tech firms, are now working on their own, secure apps.

"I think you’re gonna see these start to really get decided in the next month or two," says Keyes, adding, "Vaccine passports are going to be the way just as a sort of stepping stone for the next, say, 12 to 18 months."

Industry experts say until we know more about the vaccine — whether it prevents transmission or just severe infection — future travelers can expect to need proof of a negative COVID-19 test as well as a vaccine passport to travel internationally.

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