OVER three-quarters of Olive Press readers are eagerly awaiting the rollout of vaccine passports for COVID-19.
In a Facebook poll run by the OP between March 9 and 23, 420 of the 546 participants voted in favour of plans to introduce passes that prove you have had the jab.
Arguments made by the 77% included that passports for other inoculations already exist, since travellers entering Singapore, for example, must have been vaccinated against yellow fever if they are arriving from a ‘risk’ country.
Not to mention the multiple economic benefits, as vaccine passes would enable tourists to visit Spain’s sunny costas sooner rather than later, injecting its hospitality sector with some urgently needed cash.
However, many OP readers do not see it that way.
“The problem I have with COVID passports is that if you live in a country like Germany, where the rollout is a total fiasco, it is likely there will be no travel this side of never, which is unfair,” wrote Kirsty Modry.
Several people also argued that we still do not know exactly how much the various jabs reduce viral shedding, meaning that vaccine passports could have the unintended, dire consequence of stimulating a new wave of infections.
And then there are the numerous complications that come with such a scheme, including what exactly passport holders will be entitled to, which innoculations will be considered ‘valid’ and what will happen to those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.
The proposed EU ‘digital green certificate’ is slated to address some of these issues, though that won’t be of much help to the thousands of Brits, such as Claire Sultana, who are stranded in Blighty and desperate to get back to their second homes in Spain.
By far the main reason why 23% of OP readers are against vaccine passports, though, is that they consider it an invasion of privacy and a step towards ‘totalitarianism’ at a time when democratic institutions have already taken a toll as a result of the pandemic.
Now, with a ‘green corridor’ promised to Brits and the EU scheme also on the horizon, it only remains to be seen whether vaccine passports really will be the light at the end of a long and dreary tunnel.