Covid-19 Vaccine passport: Starting next year, Kenyans traveling outside the country will be required to have a vaccine passport.
A vaccine passport will act as proof that a person has been immunized against Covid-19.
Speaking at the launch of a COVID-19 vaccination drive for all tourism and hospitality frontline workers on Wedneday, 21 April, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala noted that the government is working in dialogue with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to develop the vaccine passport.
The proposed vaccine certificate will be similar to the yellow fever vaccine certificate that Kenyans use when traveling, facilitating their travel beginning in 2022.
“There will be a vaccination card just like the one for yellow fever being pushed by IATA . We are continuing to consult with them . At the moment we cannot say that people need to be vaccinated to travel. But soon it will be,” CS Balala said on Wednesday.
The CS added that with most of the country’s tourist source markets in Europe vaccinating more than 60% of their adult population, tourism is expected to resume soon.
“They are working hard to vaccinate as many Kenyans and all frontline workers in the Tourism and Hospitality to encourage more tourists to come into the country,” he added.
Recent lockdown measures, according to the CS, have resulted in a reduction in business of up to 80%, while urging patience from sector players who have labeled the measures as very harsh.
The first 5000 vaccines for the sector will be distributed over the next 10 days, with at least 50,000 more to be distributed once the second batch arrives in the country.
It is still unclear in the moment on which vaccines would qualify for the passport.
Proper communication should be given to avoid situations where some countries decide to exclude a vaccine that’s not approved for use within their own borders.
Countries like Israel which is leading the world in vaccination rates, has already launched a ‘green passport’ that gives holders access to places like gyms, theaters, hotels, concerts and synagogues.
In New York they have developed an app called Excelsior Pass which shows all your vaccination proof.