What Is a Vaccine Passport?

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, “vaccine passport” has become a commonly used term.

Many destinations now require overseas arrivals to show a COVID-19 vaccine passport to enter.

Some countries have also extended these requirements for access to certain public spaces, such as bars and restaurants.

Vaccine Passport Definition

A vaccine passport or vaccine certificate is proof that you are vaccinated against certain diseases. It can also be used to show that you have tested negative for, or are recovering from, a particular disease.

This type of medical passport is an official document, which can either be digital or physical.

World Health Organization Vaccine Passports

Vaccine passports are not a new idea. They existed for many years prior to the outbreak of coronavirus.

In 1969, the World Health Organization (WHO) created a vaccine passport known as a yellow card. This document proves the bearer is vaccinated against diseases such as yellow fever, cholera, and rubella.

A number of authorities require international visitors to show a yellow card. Without this vaccine certificate, you cannot travel to certain countries.

Covid Vaccine Passport

In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, many governments have introduced their own vaccine passport regulations.

One example is the European Union’s Digital COVID Certificate, which has been adopted by many EU countries.

Some countries refer to their vaccine passport as a ‘green pass’, such as Spain and Italy.

These policies are in place for international arrivals, as well as to enter indoor locations and events.

Traveling with a COVID-19 vaccine passport

Each state has its own specific rules for vaccine passports, so it is important to check your destination’s individual requirements before you travel.

Some countries accept proof of vaccination, a recovery certificate, or a negative COVID-19 test result.

For other destinations, you are required to be fully vaccinated and show a negative test result.

In most cases, the relevant vaccine passport can be shown either digitally on a mobile device, or as a paper copy. It is advisable to always travel with both, to avoid any delays.

Additional COVID Entry Requirements

Some countries only require passengers to have a vaccine passport, while others need additional documentation. 

Many authorities now ask foreign arrivals to show a Travel Health Certificate in addition to meeting the vaccine passport requirements.

Without the correct travel health certificate, you could be refused entry into your destination.