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Health Passports Are Already Here!

Health Passports Are Already Here!

The UK Government are reported to be discussing the introduction of so called ‘Covid passports’ today in a bid to get overseas travel moving again.

However the Travel Risk and Incident Prevention Group (TRIP) are keen to point out that ‘Health passports’ have been around for years. 

Lloyd Figgins Chairman of the TRIP Group and travel risk expert explains: explains: “Health passports are being talked about as though they are something new; well, the breaking news is they’re not. They have been around for a while, both as an app for a smartphone, and as a card you can carry on your person in case of an emergency.

“They are an effective way of allowing vital information to be accessed quickly and accurately. To include information regarding Covid-19 vaccination and testing is a very simple procedure for the suppliers of these passport systems and will allow travel to open up faster once they are uniformly rolled out.

“For years now we have travelled with Yellow Fever certificates, which are internationally recognised and accepted. The health and financial benefits of having an internationally aligned system is essential in allowing travel to resume in a safe and effective manner. It also helps reduce vaccination and health information being exploited.”

In the last week, the governments of Greece and Spain have voiced their support for such a system and ultimately, it’s governments who will decide which system will be used and the more joined up they are in their approach the better it is for anyone wishing to travel.

Figgins commented: It’s in the UK government’s best interests to get on-board with what other nations are suggesting and to do so quickly. Equally, airlines, cruise lines and tour operators will all have their own rules on health passports, with Qantas and Saga Cruises already saying that proof of vaccination will be required for their passengers.

“This should be something that’s welcomed by governments, travellers and tour operators alike, as it adds another layer of safety and security to those travelling. Health and vaccination information can be accessible, all with just the swipe of a QR code or via an app. Those who have ever been admitted to a medical facility know that on arrival you will be asked a series of questions, including if you have any allergies, what medications you’re taking and details of your past medical history. Imagine if all this information could be accessed by medics, even if you’re unconscious. This could be truly lifesaving and certainly allow doctors to ensure you receive the correct and appropriate medications and interventions, so it goes well beyond just dealing with Covid-19.”

Concerns have been raised about people being tracked and their data being used by governments and others to gain information about them but as Lloyd explains this is already happening: “Every time you check-in for a flight, arrive at a hotel, use your smartphone, you’re being tracked and your data is being used. Those who use fitness apps and activity monitors, you have already willingly given your health data away, right down to your heart rate and eating habits. Willingly providing information on vaccinations is a small price to pay, compared to the data we already give away to large corporations for free.”

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