A potential requirement for health passports (passes) – a digitally enabled solution confirming that a person has been vaccinated, is gaining support across Europe. Destinations popular with British holidaymakers, Spain, Greece, Portugal, and Cyprus, came out in support of vaccination passes and should they become an official requirement to travel, it would affect millions of people.
The UK government is in no rush to confirm this form of certification leaving many of us curious about how this may affect our travel plans in 2021. Travel sentiment amongst Britons has been trending downwards in recent months but the nation felt more optimistic about being able to travel after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his plans to slowly ease the national lockdown. Domestic travel sentiment rose from 46% during the week prior to the announcement to 55%, and international travel interest increased by six percentage points – from 28% to 34% – once clarity around the possible travel dates was provided.
As consumer confidence around travel bounced back, YouGov polled almost 6,000 people to find out if they would support the introduction of vaccination passports. The poll revealed that half of the British public (54%) would be in favour regarding the introduction of vaccination passports for international travel. Support levels amongst those over 65+ rose to 72% compared to 35% amongst those aged 18-24.
One in five (19%) Brits say they do not know enough about health passports, whilst 14% are concerned these could be discriminatory, risk peoples' private data or dissuade people from taking international trips.
Bringing major stakeholders on board with health vaccines – governments, airlines, airports, border control and the consumer – across a variety of markets will be a big challenge. That effort is further complicated by a myriad of options which are being tested at the moment or still in development. For example, British Airways’ are currently using VeriFLY while IATA Travel Pass is being tested out on international carriers such as Emirates and Qantas.
Health and vaccine passes may one day be a requirement for international travel and the data so far indicates that the public would agree with such measures. With the busy summer season just around the corner, we’ll continue to monitor how society perceives policies aimed at getting people travelling again.
Methodology: The data is based on the interviews of 5,987 adults aged 18 and over in Great Britain. The survey was carried out through YouGov Daily Agenda on February 24, 2021 and results are weighted to be nationally representative.
This story originally appeared in Travel Weekly.