From COVID-19 test result to vaccine passport (or digital credentials for proving vaccination to enable travel and other activities), digital COVID-19 related health certificate is on the rise.
Around the world, from countries to airlines discuss to re-launch travel by letting people prove their COVID-free status. Vaccine passports, for example, are a popular way to approach proof of immunity with jab rollouts under way across the globe. There are also apps that accept positive antibody tests as proof of immunity for those who have had the virus and recovered.
World Health Organization has warned that there is no evidence to show that recovered COVID-19 sufferers with antibodies are protected from a second infection. Despite of that, International Air Transport Association (IATA) has developed its Travel Pass over the past few months, with several carriers, including Emirates and Etihad, participating in pilot schemes.
European Union promising to propose a “green pass” to ease movement within the entire Union despite resistance from France and Germany. Denmark and Sweden are also looking to launch health passports soon. Greece and Cyprus also have vaccination passports specifically for travel to and from Israel, which has fully vaccinated 44 per cent of its population.
With patchy vaccine access around the world, there have been some valid concerns about digital health passports from all parties involved. For passengers, keeping private health data secure could be an issue in an age of cybercrime and data breaches. On the other hand, authorities have concerns about fraudulent certifications and forged documents. Questions are also swirling about how the measures will work in practice.