US consumers support health passports for overseas travel

Hoang NguyenData Journalist
March 15, 2021, 2:55 PM UTC
In the future, traveling overseas may require documentation showing that passengers have been vaccinated or tested for COVID-19. The idea of health passports – medical documents proving someone has been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus or that they show immunity to it – is being discussed and considered by governments, international organizations and travel partners around the world. 
 
This type of documentation has the potential to help the travel industry and other businesses reopen safely by identifying the people who are immune to the virus or who are at lower risk for spreading it. But health passports are certainly not without their critics, who raise concerns over privacy and discrimination over health issues. 
 
A new YouGov survey gives us insight into what Americans think about health passports. There’s general agreement in the US that people should be required to carry health passports for any international travel (58%). Compared with the overall US population, people aged 60-74 (69%) are significantly more likely to agree with this idea, while younger Americans (25-34 years of age; 43%) tend to express lower levels of agreement. 
 
Not everyone sees eye-to-eye on the topic of health passports, and roughly one in six (17%) Americans agree outright that health passports are not necessary and should not be required. A quarter of Americans (23%) show concern for the hurdles that health passports would pose for people who want to travel overseas. 
 
Issues relating to privacy and ethical concerns also seem to generate opposition to health passports in the US. Some Americans say health passports should be not required as they might compromise data protection (15%) or be discriminatory (14%). 
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Methodology: The US travel poll is based on the interviews of 1,500 adults aged 18 and over in the United States. The survey was carried through YouGov Direct in March 2021. US results are weighted according to age, gender, education level, political affiliation and ethnicity to be nationally representative of registered voters in the United States. The margin of error is 3.5% for the overall US sample.