As COVID-19 vaccines begin rolling out across the world and borders gradually reopen, one big question hangs in the air: When will it be safe to travel again? And when people can travel, will you need the vaccine to do so?
It’s highly unlikely the United States government would issue a mandate requiring coronavirus vaccinations, but those who want to resume air travel may not have a choice.
Israel has already taken a step in this direction by announcing a “green passport,” which will be available to those who have been inoculated or have otherwise recovered from the coronavirus. In addition to granting access to sporting events, concerts, cultural venues, and other mass gatherings, the green passport will allow holders to travel abroad without being tested first, which is the current requirement.
Green passports, which will eventually be accessed via mobile app, will be valid for six months. The six month validity begins a week after the recipient gets the second dose of the vaccine.
In a recent interview with Newsweek, Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert, discussed the topic of mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. When asked whether a similar vaccine passport could be issued in the United States, Fauci cautiously confirmed the possibility.
“Anything is on the table,” Fauci said. “Anything is possible, of course.”
America’s executive leadership is set to change hands later this month, and the Trump administration has been slow to cooperate with the transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden. The tumultuous situation in the U.S. has made it difficult for Fauci to give a definitive answer.
“It’s not up to me to make a decision,” he said. “But these are all things that will be discussed [under the Biden administration].”
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