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January 6, 2021
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Will Vaccine Passports, Tests Save Tourism?

Getting a ‘digital yellow card’ – an officially issued document that can be used as proof of vaccination could be added to the list of these new practises.

There are several technology companies that have developed mobile applications for individuals to upload their health information that included things like Covid-19 test results and vaccination history. The information would be used to assess eligibility to enter public venues including concert venues, stadiums, movie theatres, offices and other states and countries.

The CommonPass app is a joint-force project between the Geneva-based nonprofit The ‘Commons Project’ and the World Economic Forum, that allows users to upload their personal medical records such as Covid-19 test results as well as proof of vaccinations from hospitals and healthcare providers. It then generates a health certificate in the form of a QR code that can be shown to authorities without revealing sensitive information.

Apart from general heightened practises have been adopted by business in the tourism industry including temperature checks upon entry and sanitizer spray tunnels, getting a ‘digital yellow card’ – an officially issued document that can be used as proof of vaccination could be added to the list of these new practises.

According to this CNN article there are variables such as point of entry and the origin of vaccines that should be accounted for within the document. For example, Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm has an efficacy of 86% against Covid-19, while the vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna each have an efficacy of around 95%. It would seem that the devil is in the details, and until we are certain that vaccines can build immunity and stop the transmission of all strains of Covid-19, having a vaccine passport will as described may not be as effective as hoped. Just having had proof of vaccination wouldn’t mean that the chance of transmission had been eliminated.

Founder of ultra-luxury eco-resort Soneva’s, Sonu Shivdasani told Hotelintel.co in a recent interview that his properties in The Maldives (Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani), despite being in the middle of a pandemic, have been doing well during this time. His policy involves testing every guest who arrives at Soneva in the Maldives regardless of whether or not they had already submitted valid Covid-19 results according to the Madivian government policy. Should a guest’s results come back positive (where some already have), the resort will act immediately by providing the appropriate precautions and treatment that the guests require.

Testing and having a Vaccine Passport may not stop the virus from existing, but it is reassuring that somewhere, someone is working on finding a solution. The Maldivian government has done it, Soneva has done it. What does your destination have on the cards?

Wimintra J. Raj, Founder and Editor in Chief, Hotelintel.co
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