The pandemic has caused struggles for all, but is has also led us to create solutions to problems we never expected to face.
Considering the coronavirus is a highly contagious disease that has impacted millions of people worldwide, finding a way to navigate the virus in the future is essential. That being said, it seems like Vaccine Passports may arrive sooner than expected to do just that.
Previously, we discussed that a Vaccine Passport was in the works. This would be a fully digitalized app with privacy protection for all users, as well as a QR code that would confirm if you are either vaccinated or if you have tested negative for COVID-19. Countries worldwide are slowly returning to normal operations, and some major catalysts for that are contact tracing and the ability to prove if someone has tested either positive or negative for COVID-19.
Many countries (now including the United States) require a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before entry into the country. Considering this is a rule that was just implemented in America only a few days ago, finding the best way to track and implement this COVID-19 cases isn’t fully streamlined yet. In Canada, for example, many incoming travelers have been caught photoshopping their test results, so it is clear that there needs to be an official way to do prove either proof of vaccination or COVID-19 test results.
As the world begins to return to “normal,” there may be events and activities that require participants to have been vaccinated to participate. Things like concerts and flights have been heavily discussed when it comes to requiring a Vaccine Passport, which could, in turn, affect your future Disney vacation — whether that be to Walt Disney World in Florida or Disneyland Resort in California — or your trip to Universal Studios Hollywood or Universal Orlando Resort.
According to The New York Times, “One of President Biden’s executive orders aimed at curbing the pandemic asks government agencies to ‘assess the feasibility’ of linking coronavirus vaccine certificates with other vaccination documents, and producing digital versions of them.”
Considering President Biden mandated the requirement of negative COVID-19 tests for international visitors and is currently setting up a quarantine plan for all traveling into the U.S., getting a Vaccine Passport approved and implemented could be the next step once more Americans are vaccinated.
Will you need a Vaccine Passport to travel to Disney or Universal?
None of that is for certain right now, but it is definitely possible.
We previously have discussed how both Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood may need the vaccine to reopen, since the California theme park reopening guidelines require COVID-19 cases to significantly decrease before theme parks can open. Disneyland Resort remains the only one to not reopen during the pandemic and California Governor Gavin Newsom hinted back in October that large theme parks like Disneyland Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood may not be able to reopen until the vaccine was readily available.
Considering the strict theme park reopening guidelines Newsom has in place, it would not be surprising to see Disneyland take a page out of Shanghai Disneyland’s book. Shanghai Disneyland introduced advanced health screenings when it reopened, and if a Vaccine Passport was available, Disneyland could very well use it to operate safely and increase Guest confidence.
Disney World seems to have already tackled Guest confidence, and with Governor DeSantis being a lot more relaxed on Florida’s operational guidelines during the pandemic, it does not seem likely that the state would impose a requirement of a Vaccine Passport to visit their theme parks.
That being said, if airlines impose the Vaccine Passport, then it would not be up to either state to regulate whether incoming travelers must be vaccinated — as they would be pre-screened before flying.
Why is a Vaccine Passport being considered?
Whether the Vaccine Passport is used to track if people have been vaccinated or tested, one singular app would be a way to streamline the verification process.
Jamie Smith, senior director of business development at Evernym, a developer that has been working with I.A.T.A. and others on developing a Vaccine Passport, said, “Imagine a future where a plane lands in an airport and a hundred people have a travel pass, 100 have another health wallet, 50 have bits of paper and another 25 have some kind of government document. What does the airport do? How do they process all those people in a standard, simple way?”
For now, we will continue to wait and see what moves forward regarding the Vaccine Passport, and if it will be required for flight, events, or even theme parks.