Since ancient history, humans have developed to learn and achieve more by their sense of curiosity. Science has changed gradually, and sky is no longer a limit, but a new destination to explore. Traveling has become a passion, a desire to reach out to the unknown and see the unseen. Being teased and tempted by travel bloggers and documentary movies, we want to be able to travel RIGHT NOW, no matter the circumstances.
As the COVID-19 vaccination process is still on-going, time through lockdowns, pandemic waves and constant restrictions changes slowly as the summer season approaches. More than 409.6 million vaccine doses are being administered worldwide, which is approximately 5.3 doses per a hundred people.
However, vaccine tracker says the gap between the different countries is getting bigger and the no-shows, speculations and untrust in COVID-19 vaccines seem to rise. With more than a year of pandemic as our companion, we’re sure to hope this will not be another lost holiday in our calendars.
- No matter if it’s all about business or pleasure, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has all the information available on his website. Beside measures for washing our hands wearing a mask, avoiding crowded places and staying at least 6 feet one from another, an interactive world map is presented, stating COVID-19 travel recommendation by destination. It’s most convenient, as it uses a 4-level system of risk assessment, as well as one level unknown. It might be for the purpose of U.S. citizens only, but it sure includes absolutely all countries worldwide, gathers all information up to one place and it’s quite useful, rather than check each country separately.
- Another great breakthrough is the mobile app, launched by the international Air Travel Association (IATA) — union, which consists of 290 airlines worldwide. The travel pass, which eventually can be paper-based for people that don’t own a smartphone, will allow governments and airlines to digitally collect, access and share information on the status of individual passengers’ Covid-19 test and vaccination. Since 17th March it has reached its first trial by Singapore Lines in the international flight from Singapore to London, but the best is still yet to come, as several carriers signed up for trials in the next weeks and months.
- The EU is also concerned about the present situation and is in a process of admitting digital green certificates, in use for EU member states, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. QR code with a digital signature is implemented, as to verify the authenticity, integrity and validity of the certificate.
Depending on its owner preferences, it will be in digital or paper-based form, in order to spare any inconvenience and will make free movement easy as a safe proof that the passenger is either recovered from COVID-19, vaccinated or received a negative test result. So again, vaccination is not a precondition to travel and all human rights are not being violated and are completely secured here.
It is important to add only the results of so-called NAAT tests (including RT-PCR tests) and rapid antigen tests are eligible for the certificates purposes. However, Germany and France already stated their issues over data privacy and social discrimination, so it’not sure whether the whole project will be embraced by all EU member states.
Adoption by the EU parliament and Council will be the further steps in the procedure in the next few months to come. Since the UK, USA and any other 3rd party citizens are out of reach, the World Health Organization (WHO) has promised to create an international trusted framework. European Commission is also sure to be working in order that the certificates are compatible with systems in third countries outside the EU, and that it will encourage other countries to recognize the Digital Green Certificate when lifting restrictions on non-essential travel.
Traveling is the most common way of spreading and getting coronavirus, and therefore making it available only to persons that have some sort of protection against it, is essential. But if you can’t possibly delay it and stay home office, you just have to be prepared for all that’s going to happen, as every country seems to have its own restriction and every airline is yet in a trial process of developing a permanent decision.
Governments and global organizations are already working on it, and it’s all a matter of time when there’s going to be a digital transport, suitable to everyone. We’ve been patient enough to wait for the COVID-19 vaccines in Baden-Württemberg to come, and now it’s time to give it a chance on global efforts for implementing international traveling rules.