Here's where you'll likely need a vaccine passport, where you won't

ByMichael Finney and Randall Yip via KGO logo
Friday, June 4, 2021
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If you've gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccination shot, a medical professional likely handed you your vaccine "passport," or a card with proof of vaccination. Here's where you'll need it -- and where you likely won't.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- If you've gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccination shot, a medical professional likely handed you your vaccine "passport," or a card with proof of vaccination. Here's where you'll need it -- and where you likely won't.

From sporting and other live events to international travel and even some college campuses, having proof of vaccinations, even if not mandatory, will make your life easier.

RELATED: What you need to know about traveling to Europe for summer 2021

"What they're saying with a vaccine passport is essentially creating not a 'do not enter' sign, but a fast lane for those who have been vaccinated," said Scott Keyes of Scott's Cheap Flights.

He says a vaccine passport means not having to go into quarantine or undergo testing to fly to Hawaii and many other countries.

Airlines flying overseas will likely ask for proof of travel eligibility.

Sharon Pinkerton is with the trade group, Airlines for America.

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"And that means a vaccine, or potentially again, only in the context of international travel, can demonstrate that they had a negative COVID test," she says.

Trader Joe's and Walmart are among the first retailers to ease the mask mandate for customers in locations where local ordinances will allow it.

Mike LeFever is the CEO of the risk management consultancy firm, Concentric. He predicts retailers will enforce the new rules much the same way they are enforced at live sporting events.

"It's all about I think managing risks for the individual or mitigating risks, but they feel comfortable with," LeFever said.

Cruise lines may be the next big industry to require vaccine passports.

RELATED: How Bay Area's early COVID precautions playing part in bringing tourists back

Stewart Chiron, also known as the Cruise Guy, is a consultant for the cruise industry.

Chiron doesn't think cruises will resume out of California until late fall or early winter.

"The cruise lines that are sailing from those ports are requiring all passengers and crew to be fully vaccinated at this point," said Chiron.

Will the use of vaccine passports expand beyond any of this?

The airline industry says no.

"We essentially don't believe somebody should be required to have a vaccine in order to travel," said Pinkerton.

Employers are also unlikely to require proof of vaccination, except in a few limited areas.

RELATED: TSA numbers show millions are masking up, making travel plans

"Again, based on the industry, if it does involve close interaction, social interaction, I foresee that there may be a requirement," LeFever believes.

Those who decide they won't get vaccinated may have to live with the consequences.

"Here's a decision that you may have made that these are the impacts based on your decision," he continued.

The U.S. Travel Association encourages everyone to get fully vaccinated.

"We're actively encouraging folks to get the COVID vaccine as soon as possible. We think that's the best way to move this country forward," said Tori Barnes of the U.S. Travel Association.

Our experts say the use of COVID passports could expand further if any COVID-19 variants take hold and we see another surge in cases.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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