- Major cruise lines have started requiring travelers to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
- Vaccine passports proving COVID-19 immunity may soon be required for other international travel.
- Delta Airlines has said proof of vaccination will probably be required on international flights.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
As more people become vaccinated against COVID-19, many are wondering if they’ll need to prove their vaccination status in order to travel.
The short answer is that, right now, you need proof that you’ve been vaccinated if you’re booking a cruise. But you may need proof of vaccination for more travel activities soon.
In recent weeks, major cruise lines have started to announce vaccine protocols for guests and crew. Royal Caribbean, for example, has announced a series of fully vaccinated cruises that will require both crew and guests to be fully vaccinated, Insider’s Brittany Chang reported. The cruises set sail beginning in May.
Proof of vaccination could come either in the form of a physical vaccine card or a digital confirmation of it, known as a vaccine passport.
Some countries and airlines may soon require proof of vaccination
Although governments and airlines are not yet requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for international travel, recent developments suggest they’re not far behind the cruise industry.
Apps for digitizing proof of vaccination, like CommonPass, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Pass, and Health Pass by CLEAR are already in trial stages.
And a handful of countries like Ecuador and Belize are making travel easier for fully vaccinated people by waiving the need to quarantine upon entry or present a negative COVID-19 test.
On February 21, Israel became the first country to launch a digital vaccine-passport program. Called the “green pass,” it allows fully vaccinated residents to travel more freely throughout the country than unvaccinated residents.
The EU also plans to allow vaccinated travelers to move without restrictions between its member countries through a vaccine-passport program it hopes to launch by mid-June.
And the World Health Organization is currently in the process of developing standards for digital vaccine certificates.
In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidelines on Friday, saying that fully vaccinated people can travel safely in the US without a COVID-19 test or self-quarantine.
Ed Bastian, the chief executive officer of Delta Air Lines, told NBC Nightly News that the airline will likely require proof of vaccination on international flights in the future.
Vaccine passports won’t be federally mandated in the US
The Biden adminstration does not plan to mandate a vaccine-passport program in the US.
“We expect […] that a determination or development of a vaccine passport or whatever you want to call it will be driven by the private sector,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during a March 29 press briefing, CBS reported.
Instead, the administration plans to release guidelines for how the private sector might use and issue vaccine passports.
On Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, told the Politico Dispatch podcast that he does not believe the government “will be the main mover of a vaccine passport concept” but “they may be involved in making sure things are done fairly and equitably.”
Requiring vaccination for travel is not a new concept
For years, select countries in Africa have required travelers to prove that they have been vaccinated against Yellow Fever.
However, the idea of making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory has raised concerns about discrimination against travelers who may not have access to a vaccine or who choose not to get it due to medical, religious, or personal reasons.
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