Fake COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates Will Hinder International Travel
Airport officials are increasingly uncovering fake COVID-19 test result certificates, reported Reuters. “Normally, the way this counterfeit is spotted is an obvious spelling error,” said Lucy Moreton, an official with the Immigration Services Union, representing border officials at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Previously, most fake travel certificates were related to yellow fever vaccinations in Africa, reported by the WHO in 2020.
“We estimate that around 80% of yellow fever travel cards in Zimbabwe are counterfeit,” said Dr. Mchechesi, head of innovation at a travel health consultancy. “All travelers need up-to-date immunization verification, and systems should help cut transmission rates across borders.”
While there is public support for travel restrictions, it is becoming clear to many that international travelers feel more comfortable managing the risks of COVID-19 in 2021.
On March 9th, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced results from its latest poll. This survey revealed growing confidence in returning to air travel, frustration with current travel restrictions, and acceptance of travel apps to manage health credentials.
- 88% believe that when opening borders, the right balance must be struck between managing COVID-19 risks and getting the economy going again,
- 68% agreed that their quality of life has suffered from travel restrictions,
- 49% believe that air travel restrictions have gone too far.
“The top priority of everybody is staying safe amid the COVID-19 crisis. But it is important that we map a way to re-open borders and enable people to get on with their lives, commented Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, in a press statement.
"It is becoming clear that we will need to learn to live and travel in a world that has COVID-19. Given the health, social and economic costs of travel restrictions, airlines should be ready to re-connect the world as soon as governments can re-open borders."
IATA survey responses indicate those expecting to travel within a few months of “COVID-19 containment” now account for 57% of survey respondents (improved from 49% in September 2020).
This trend is supported by vaccine rollouts, which indicates that 81% of people will be more likely to travel once vaccinated.
“People want to get back to travel, but quarantine is the showstopper."
"As testing capacity and technology improve and the vaccinated population grows, removing quarantine measures is important,” said de Juniac.
In addition to COVID-19 vaccinations, many countries require proof of other travel-vaccines, such as yellow fever, polio, and recently, Ebola. The U.S. CDC publishes a directory of required vaccinations.