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The digital vaccination certificates likely to be accepted overseas

man holding up smartphone showing vaccine passport

As international travel starts to find its feet, there are calls to streamline the digital vaccination certificates on offer to simplify travel from one jurisdiction to another.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has called for significant changes to the patchwork of policies and processes in place to increase international mobility, starting with accepting just four types of digital COVID vaccination certificate.

The WTTC said that by following World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, it had identified four of the most widely used digital COVID vaccination certificates. These were the EU Digital COVID Certificate, ICAO Visible Digital Seal, DIVOC and SMART Health Cards.

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The WTTC is now urging governments to accept these major international standards as proof of COVID-19 status, while still encouraging them to work towards a single global solution.

The WTTC’s Digital Solutions for Reviving International Travel report also shows how international travellers, whether fully vaccinated or testing negative, would then have a globally recognised digital COVID certificate that would enable them to travel freely and safely anywhere in the world.

The report claims the existing patchwork of policies and processes are complex and unsustainable and are hindering the recovery of an already struggling sector.

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The report also recommends that governments worldwide create their own ‘digital travel portal’, allowing travellers to electronically share their digital COVID vaccination or test certificates with their destination before beginning their journey.

After booking their trip, travellers would simply go to the online portal managed by the destination, where their digital COVID certificate would be uploaded, verifying their status online in seconds and avoiding confusing processes and long queues, explained WTTC president and chief executive Julia Simpson.

“(The) WTTC has been calling on governments to implement a globally coordinated response since the beginning of the pandemic,” Ms Simpson said. “(This) report offers the key to harmonise and safely reopen international travel.

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“It is governments’ responsibility to ensure there is a safe, secure, simple and digital system in place to restore international mobility.

“(The) WTTC is recommending a single global portal that recognises the main digital passes currently in use worldwide and acts as a one-stop shop for travellers and governments,” she said.

“We can use the pandemic to leapfrog technologies and allow contactless travel with embedded data on vaccination and testing status.”

Do you think governments will be able to coordinate vaccination certificates or does the task seem too difficult to become a reality? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

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