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  • Writer's pictureTravelOctopus

Vaccine passports yay or nay ?

As I sit here reading all about #Europe's plan for a Digital Vaccine Passport my shoulder meat is swollen into a giant goose egg from #moderna shot #1 which I was just able to procure this past weekend. I get excited for a second, remembering all those Christmas Markets in #Germany, cabins in #Switzerland and the plan I was cooking up last year to spend New Years Eve looking at the #EiffelTower. And since my second shot in the arm and the subsequent immunity will be in full effect by May, I also start thinking about a summer in #Venice or #Split.

But the dreams of a #VaccinePassport and the realities are as different as the vaccine rollouts themselves. Whatever Europe decides to do the whole #EU will need to agree upon and then they will have to agree on who to allow into the program - namely #Brits and other #EU members for now. Sorry #America.

Closer to home, #Hawaii is also working out details to launch their Vaccine Passport program by May, and we're watching patiently for Puerto Rico to follow suit!

As locations and their local, or regional, or national governments, work out how best to protect their populations while jumpstarting their economies (which #travel and #tourism play a huge role in) I think we'll see as much difference in entry requirements and digital passes as we did among testing in the early days of the virus. Inconsistent information, varying degrees of comfort and safety among governments, hospitality workers and everyone in-between will impact the willingness and method of adopting a system of assuring immunities.

And then there's the issue of access to vaccines themselves. Where we are located in California it is fairly easy to get a shot right now, but in speaking with friends in New York City the waiting list is another couple of months. Which means there is a possibility that as everything from stadiums and museums to islands and entire countries open to those who have managed to get a shot, entire populations either due to socio-economic demographics or local logistical management issues will have not been able to access anything yet leaving a strange new breed of "Elite Status" traveler.

As the saying goes, you don't have to do everything, you just have to do something, and a lot of small somethings will eventually lead somewhere. So maybe running a pilot program to safely open up those experiences and places that make us engage in the world - even if only to a few at first - is the small step toward normalcy that everyone needs.

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