Will a COVID-19 Vaccination Passport Be Required for Travel?

Vaccination Passport

Now that the vaccine is rolling out across America there is other info coming out about a Covid Vaccination Passport and/or Health/Immunity Travel Passes.

In a nutshell: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is working on launching the IATA Travel Pass, a digital platform for passengers. The Commons Project is getting ready to launch its CommonPass app, a platform for travelers to document their COVID-19 status to satisfy country entry requirements. IBM has a promising plan, too.

First, let’s review the IATA Travel Pass.

According to IATA, one of the goals to re-open borders is to have accurate information on passengers’ COVID-19 health status.  They say that one of the challenges is informing passengers on what tests, vaccines and other measures they’ll require prior to travel, where to get tested, and the ability to share these tests and vaccination results in a safe (and verifiable) way.

This is where the digital IATA Travel Pass comes in.

Will this be the answer for travelers to get accurate information for all touch points along their travels?

IATA says that testing must support:

  • Governments with the means to verify the authenticity of tests and the identity of those presenting the test certificates.
  • Airlines with the ability to provide accurate information to their passengers on test requirements and verify that a passenger meets the requirements for travel.
  • Laboratories with the means to issue certificates to passengers that will be recognized by governments.
  • Travelers with accurate information on test requirements, where they can get tested or vaccinated, and the means to securely convey test information to airlines and border authorities.

IATA says they have a global solution to validate and authenticate all country regulations regarding COVID-19 passenger travel requirements.

Here’s a summary of its four modules and information for the IATA Timatic, which is used by airlines and travel agents to verify passenger travel document requirements for their destination and any transit points.

Vaccination Passport or Travel Pass


This IATA app is due out in the first quarter of 2021 and you can find more information here.

The big goal, of course, is for all of us to be able to travel safely again.   Some questions (yet unanswered) include: What will the governments for the places we want to travel to require as we move forward into 2021? Will pre-departure covid testing allow for the removal of quarantine restrictions?

Next, let’s look at the CommonPass.

The CommonPass platform is for people to document their COVID-19 status, which includes health declarations, PCR tests, and vaccinations to satisfy country entry requirements, while protecting their health data privacy. Again, not a vaccination passport.

CommonPass lets individuals access their lab results and vaccination records, and consent to have that information used to validate their COVID status without revealing any other underlying personal health information.

According to CommonPass, the purpose of this ‘pass’ is to to enable safer airline and cross border travel by giving both travelers and governments confidence in each traveler’s verified COVID-19 status.  The CommonPass is currently in trials and you can be notified once it’s available to the public.

Here’s an infographic of the CommonPass solution:

Vaccination Passport Travel Health App

Technology, as you can see, is playing a huge part in helping us get back to travel safely, and everything else that we’ve been missing out on.

IBM Digital Health Pass

Another promising (smart) design (not a vaccination passport) is IBM’s Digital Health Pass, which is based on blockchain technology. All of these apps must keep our personal data private and they say they have a solution to do so.  You can review more at IBM.

And, finally, what do you get once you receive the COVID-19 vaccine? According to the CDC, once you get vaccinated, you will receive a vaccination card or printout with information on which vaccine you received. You can find out more from the CDC here.

Are these considered Vaccination Passports?

All in all, none of these are actual ‘vaccination passports’ or ‘immunity passports’ and there will likely (most definitely) be more information in the days and months ahead and we’ll keep you updated so you may want to bookmark this page.

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About Donna Adinolfi 248 Articles
Donna Adinolfi is a wellness travel expert, a freelance writer, an award-winning photographer, and the founder/publisher of MindfulAdventures.com. Her 30+ year career includes serving as the Travel & Spa Editor of Balance Magazine as well as planning wellness travel & retreats. An avid fan of the freedom from carrying cash or credit cards, Donna loves to visit all-inclusive wellness resorts in the U.S, and traveling to some of Mexico's and the Caribbean's many all-inclusive resorts several times each year. She's also a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association.
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