Britons to Get ‘Vaccine Stamps’ in Their Passports Before Overseas Travel
"Pets need a vaccination passport when travelling between the UK and Europe"
British travellers who have been inoculated against coronavirus could have their passports stamped to show they have had the vaccine in a boost for the tourism industry, The Telegraph can disclose.
The new ‘vaccine stamps’ would allow tourists to avoid being held up at borders if the international travel industry starts to pick up in the middle of next year as the pandemic subsides.
The stamps are being considered by ministers at the Department for Transport (DfT) as a significant way to boost the aviation industry by giving a degree of certainty to travellers planning overseas holidays next summer.
The news came as the Government secured an additional 2 million doses of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, which is due to be available early next year and has been shown in trials to be 95 per cent effective.
The deal means the UK now has access to a total of 357 million doses of vaccines from seven different developers.
Airlines are likely to demand that passengers are vaccinated against coronavirus before they are allowed to board their planes.
Last week Qantas’ chief executive Alan Joyce said it would be a “necessity” for passengers to be inoculated before travelling.
The airline’s terms and conditions of travel could now be amended to say that international travelers must be vaccinated before they can board a Qantas plane.
Jill Chung, a spokesperson for Korean Air, South Korea’s largest airline, also said there was a real possibility that airlines will require that passengers be vaccinated because governments may require this as a condition for lifting quarantine for arrivals. Air New Zealand has also echoed a similar position.
Vaccine stamps as proof of being vaccinated were raised last week by Tory MP James Sunderland who asked Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, whether he had considered “the utility of having vaccination stamps in passports, or an equivalent scheme, to get our plans off the ground”.
Mr Johnson replied that his transport secretary Grant Shapps was “looking at all such schemes” and could offer an assurance that he had heard the call “loud and clear”. [What “call” LOL? The only reason there is a demand is because you’re mandating it.]
Sources confirmed that the stamps were being examined at the DfT, where Aviation minister Robert Courts is said to be “upbeat and supportive” of the plan.
Mr Sunderland told The Telegraph: “Pets need a vaccination passport when travelling between the UK and Europe and this would be a fantastic way of ensuring freedom of movement for people too. [Now you can be just like a pet! Freedom of movement!]
“We must do everything possible to boost the economy by re-opening our travel, hospitality, leisure and business sectors and how fantastic would it be to have our planes, trains and boats full again.
“A vaccination stamp is simple, would save all the hassle at either end and really boost confidence.”
The DfT was approached for comment.
The Government’s additional two million Moderna doses mean that the UK has now secured 7 million doses of Moderna vaccine, which will be available in Europe as early as the spring.
The UK now has access to enough doses of Moderna’s vaccine candidate for around 3.5 million people.
Source: The Telegraph