Matt Keezer on Simplifying Travel Requirements with 'Covid-19 Passports' – Is it a Model That Will work?

Matt Keezer

Matt Keezer

MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA, February 25, 2021 / -- We catch up with Matt Keezer to discuss a “vaccine passport” and we were surprised to hear his thoughts. When the pandemic hit, it seemed like the whole world had stopped. Countries and cities around the globe entered lockdown – schools and non-essential businesses were closed, cultural and sports venues were canceled. The world tried its best to adapt to the newfound circumstances.

In the beginning months of the pandemic, international travel declined by around 90 percent. That was mostly because the world's governments tried to limit the spread of Covid-19 by restricting the flow of people in and out of their countries. Now, one year after, with the appearance of the vaccine, it looks like the world will finally regain its footing, and people's lives will go back to normal. Borders will open, and people will be free to travel wherever they want once again. Those who are still crossing the borders started to encounter a novel concept – Covid-19 passport – a mobile platform that contains proof that the traveler has a negative coronavirus status.

A covid-19 passport, also called a health passport, proves that a person who wants to travel into a country meets all requirements to gain entry, such as having a negative coronavirus test or receiving the coronavirus vaccine. Matt Keezer notes that Although they are not the official documents granted by governments, some countries and airline companies began to accept them.

Being vaccinated against communicable diseases as a condition to enter the country is not a new concept. Years ago, World Health Organization designed the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis, commonly known as the Yellow Card. It is an internationally recognized document that contains a record of a traveler's required vaccines and booster shots.

"Having proof of vaccination for entering a country is not a new concept," says Matt. "Many countries relied for decades on the Yellow Card to check if the person that is trying to enter the country is inoculated against diseases like rabies, yellow fever or tuberculosis." Health passports, at their core, are digital passes issued by mobile apps. It is a novel concept that aims to increase the ease of travel by digitalizing the paper-based proof that the traveler is not the coronavirus

Matt Keezer further explains, "Walking around with a paper-based proof only slows down the time required to pass through the checking gate. The officials have to check the data manually, but it's only a matter of a quick scan of barcode or QR code from mobile phone screen with the digitalized version. That way, the traveler would be able to store and certify their information via their phone with ease." Although the Covid-19 passport seems like an excellent solution, in theory, there are some rising concerns about privacy and equity in practice. "Billions of people don't have access to digital devices, and even more don't have access to digitized health care. It's hard to make a system that will contain records of all travelers. First-world countries can do that with ease, but what about third-world countries that still rely on paper-based records? Those people won't be able to travel at all," Matt says.

The world is still adapting to the pandemic and will continue to adapt, as experts predict that the

pandemic will end in 2022. It seems like the paper-proof will remain the norm for a long time, but who
knows what the future may bring.

Shared Media
Shared Media Inc
email us here
Visit us on social media: