Will You Require a Vaccination ID?


Vaccination efforts are underway worldwide. As larger numbers of the population are vaccinated, travel will pickup. Hotels and other locations renting rooms will need to establish protocols for whether they require vaccination IDs and what constitutes a valid ID.

It’s a process that will be a challenge. With a mish-mash of requirements establishing a single standard will be difficult. During the early phase of the pandemic, a few countries discussed the idea of an “immunity passport” for people who had recovered. Public and scientific opinion diverged, and the idea was all but abandoned. In the time since, several organizations, including WHO, worked on developing vaccination tracking systems.

Even as late as January 15, during a January 15 meeting of the WHO’s Emergency Committee on COVID-19 did not recommend requiring proof of vaccination or immunity for international travel.

Several countries like Denmark, India, and Israel are developing systems to issue special passports that indicate vaccination status. Others require negative tests before boarding a plane.

Vaccination is not a guarantee of safety. But it’s encouraging to see worldwide wins due to immunization, distancing, and other safety precautions. But the question remains. As vaccines become widely available, will you require proof before a stay?

Vaccinations have turned highly politicized in many areas. No matter where you stand on the issue, it will begin to impact businesses. Vaccination status will likely be something many companies will begin to leverage. In the same way that masking became a political hot button issue in place of a national or even international standard, it will be up to the company to decide their vaccination comfort. Will an airline require proof of vaccination before boarding? Will a hotel require a vaccination ID as a new piece of the check-in process?

Several hotels considered asking guests to verify their vaccination status during booking or check-in during a recent poll. And many indicated they could see themselves re-opening previously closed activities if enough people received a vaccine. On the other hand, a rental property complex in Maryland said they would not ask and instead continue to do deep cleaning after each guest.

If your local government is not putting mandatory policies in place, it’s essential to think about these issues as they emerge over the next year. To decide how and what to ask your guests will undoubtedly be an ethical, personal, and potentially legal minefield.