Travel

Japan plans to present ‘vaccine passports’ for international travel after UK and France

Japan’s government intends to present “vaccine passports” to make it simpler for individuals who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 to help restart international travel, government sources said Wednesday.

Japan will follow the United Kingdom and France’s footsteps in reopening international travel in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic plans on presenting vaccine passports.

The passports would appear as scannable smartphone apps that carry Covid-19 vaccination data, Kyodo said, refering to government sources.

The visas are required to be as a smartphone app, with travelers scanning QR codes at airports before loading up flights or when entering the country.

The government is pushing ahead with the plan in the expectation of resuming business travel that has essentially quit during the pandemic, joining the European Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and China.

“Other countries are doing it, so Japan will have to consider it too,” Taro Kono, the minister in charge of the country’s vaccination efforts, said in a parliamentary session Wednesday.

Kono had previously voiced worry that requiring certification of vaccination could prompt discrimination against people unable or reluctant to get shots because of likely allergic reactions or side effects.

To allay such concerns, the passports will likewise list negative results from polymerase chain reaction and antigen tests, the sources said. It isn’t expected that the scheme will be used domestically, for example, to manage entry into restaurants or sports events.

The app will link with the Vaccination Record System, a government database of individuals who have gotten shots. It will probably be founded on CommonPass, an app created with the contribution of the World Economic Forum.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, and the Foreign Ministry will play a central role in working out the subtleties of the plan, the sources said.

Keidanren, the country’s greatest business campaign, called on the government on Monday to consider presenting vaccine passports, highlighting the EU’s plans to launch its “Digital Green Pass” in June to permit foreign tourists to visit throughout the summer holidays.

Japan at present just permits entry to residents and foreign citizens as well as foreigners with “special exceptional circumstances,” and they should submit negative results for Covid tests taken within 72 hours of appearance.

Generally, 2.3 million people in Japan had gotten at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine as of Tuesday, for the most part, health care workers. That is under 2% of the populace, far lower than nations with a lot quicker rollouts like Israel, Britain, and the United States.

Less than 1 million individuals had gotten both of the necessary doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, as of now the just one approved for use in Japan.

Tags
Back to top button
Close