In the context of the ongoing global new crown epidemic and countries successively vaccinating the people, the use of “vaccine passports” to achieve safe cross-border movement of people is becoming a problem that many countries are considering, especially Singapore, Thailand, and Europe whose economies rely on tourism. The country hopes to use the “vaccine passport” to quickly stimulate the tourism industry to recover. The two sessions of China are about to be convened. The reporter learned that many representatives and committee members will refer to the “vaccine passport.”
Xinmatai actively promotes
Singapore’s “Lianhe Zaobao” stated that Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong revealed last week that Singapore is discussing mutual recognition of the new crown vaccination certificate with willing countries, which is a necessary step to resume international tourism. Lee Hsien Loong mentioned this issue twice in recent days, showing the urgency to Singapore. According to statistics, more than 200 million people have been vaccinated worldwide.
The “vaccine passport” is still in the discussion stage and has not officially landed. However, Singapore Airlines took the lead in launching the “Digital Health Certification Program” in December 2020, becoming the world’s first program based on the International Air Transport Association Travel Pass application framework. Ms. Chen, who works in a Singapore scientific research institution, told the reporter on the 2nd that she is a Malaysian and hopes that the “vaccine passport” can be implemented quickly and return to Malaysia to visit relatives as soon as possible. “With a vaccine passport, I will feel that when I travel. Safe, I feel safe wherever I go.” Currently, Singapore and Malaysia are discussing mutual recognition of vaccination certificates, which will pave the way for further relaxation of border controls between the two countries.
Thailand has also recently stated that it will consider exempting passengers with “vaccine passports” issued by other countries from the two-week mandatory quarantine entry restriction. Japan’s “Nikkei Asian Review” reported that the Japanese government plans to provide certificates of COVID-19 vaccination for international travel by the people of the country. The tourism industry in Hong Kong recently put forward four major demands, including the issuance of “vaccine passports.”
Greek tourism industry: “vaccine passport” is like a “life-saving straw”
European countries are also promoting vaccine passports. French TV 24 reported that European Commission President Von der Lein said on Monday that the European Union plans to launch an “electronic vaccine passport” in March. Greece is the earliest and most active advocate in the European Union. Starting from February 19th, Greece has officially issued digital certificates for new crown vaccination to its citizens.
The tourism industry accounts for up to 20% of Greece’s gross domestic product (GDP), and the industry has high hopes for the “vaccine passport”. In an interview with, President Zhang Buren of the Greek Chinese Tourism Federation said that since January last year, the tourism industry in Greece has been severely affected by the epidemic, and Chinese tourism companies that mainly receive Asian tourists have all fallen. In this case, the “vaccine passport” that can restore the freedom of travel for international tourists is like a life-saving straw, and Greek tourism practitioners generally support this. Zhang Buren said that it is expected that after the implementation of the “vaccine passport” policy, tourism reception agencies may give priority to those teams and customers who have been vaccinated.
In addition to the tourism industry in Greece, Greek real estate agents and real estate agencies that are mainly engaged in the “golden visa” project are also looking forward to the launch of the “vaccine passport”. Mariaros, head of the real estate agency in Athens, told the reporter that after the launch of the “vaccine passport”, the EU will be able to conditionally allow tourists and investors to enter the country. For the Greek “golden visa” that has been frozen for more than a year “For the investment industry, this will be a major piece of good news.
The premise of the “vaccine passport”
In fact, on the issue of “vaccine passport”, the opinions of different countries are not uniform. Some countries, including France and Germany, are worried that relaxing travel restrictions for those who have been vaccinated will discriminate against others who are still waiting to be vaccinated. France 24 TV said that French Health Minister Vilan has repeatedly stated that it is too early to discuss the “vaccine passport” because less than 3 million French people have received the first dose of the vaccine, and it is not clear whether the vaccine can prevent the spread. His view is also agreed by the WHO.
The Greek medical community believes that how long the antibodies produced by the vaccine can last is still unknown. In addition, it is uncertain whether people who have been vaccinated will no longer spread the virus. Therefore, they hold a wait-and-see attitude toward the “vaccine passport.”
The reporter learned that before the upcoming two sessions in China, many delegates and committee members mentioned the “vaccine passport.” CPPCC National Committee member Zhu Zhengfu told the reporter that he would propose to replace the 14-day compulsory quarantine period for inbound passengers with “new crown testing + vaccine passport”, and to promote electronic vaccination certificates in China (that is, domestic ” Vaccine Passport”), the e-certificate of vaccination can be exempted from nucleic acid testing when traveling in the country. Zhu Zhengfu also suggested that bilateral or multilateral negotiations should be carried out internationally to promote mutual recognition and rapid and accurate identification of “vaccine passports” of various countries, and promote the gradual recovery of international tourism and international economic and trade activities.
Pan Helin, Executive Dean of the Institute of Digital Economy, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, said in an interview with the reporter on the 2nd that the “vaccine passport” does economically reduce the cost of quarantine, speed up the movement of the social population, and is good for vaccine manufacturing and In the tourism industry, this prerequisite “must be based on full confidence in vaccines and the guarantee of the vaccine supply chain.”