Vaccination passports are being pitched as the new “golden ticket” in a dystopic post-COVID world if you want to travel – now that the recovery is on its way.
Countries in Europe are already requiring travelers to use vaccine passports – usually taking the form of certificates or digital cards of past COVID tests and vaccination history – an idea catching on in tourist nations like Thailand and the Caribbean. But also, much closer to home, Hawaii state officials are considering steps to implement vaccine passports for inter-island travel and likely one day require, to some degree, out of state travelers to have a health passport to revive the local economy that has sustained severe economic damage in its tourism and travel industry.
Local news KHON2 said state officials could soon roll out a health passport app that details vaccination history. Lt. Gov. Josh Green confirmed an app is in development called “First Vitals.” Officials have discouraged inter-island travel as the U.S.’s only archipelago state composed of eight islands in the North Pacific Ocean was forced to deal with a massive influx of travelers from outside the state during the pandemic. Many folks who flocked to Hawaii were escaping the pandemic or took advantage of cheap flights.
Like existing COVID passes issued by other countries, Hawaii’s vaccine passport will provide officials with a QR code to authenticate the users’ vaccination history.