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VI could implement COVID-19 vaccine passport requirements- Hon Malone

VI could implement COVID-19 vaccine passport requirements- Hon Malone

Travellers to the Virgin Islands (VI) could soon be required to show proof of inoculation through a passport specifically for COVID-19, Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone (AL) has said.

Honourable Malone’s remarks came as the territory welcomed 12,000 units of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, which represents shipment number two, from the United Kingdom (UK) on Wednesday, March 17, 2021, at Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island.

“There are some countries around the world that are already requiring the vaccine passport, and that will then help to relax the quarantine in those areas, so we are looking at this, it is a moving target, as far as we are concerned and we are going to follow World Health Organisation (WHO), Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), all of our agencies. It is critical that we continue to follow the science, follow the institutions who are best geared to give us the information required,” he said.

Several countries, including European countries such as Poland, Denmark, Spain and Greece, as well as China, Russia and Singapore, are now introducing exemptions for travellers who hold vaccine certificates.

The Virgin Islands welcomed 12,000 units of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, which represents shipment number two, from the United Kingdom (UK) on Wednesday, March 17, 2021, at Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island. Assisting with the offloading of the precious cargo is Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Carvin Malone (AL).


EU proposes vaccine passport mechanism


A vaccine passport could allow vaccinated EU citizens to travel more easily in Europe by summer, according to a proposal from the European Commission released on Wednesday, March 17, 2021. A certificate could allow vaccinated EU citizens to travel more easily in Europe by summer, according to a proposal from the European Commission released on Wednesday.

The "Digital Green Certificate" would vouch for vaccination, COVID-19 test results, and whether the carrier has recovered from COVID-19.

It is the 27-nation bloc's version of an idea for vaccine passports, which many countries are mulling as a potential exit strategy from the coronavirus pandemic.

To go forward, European Commission's proposal would need to be approved by European Parliament and its 27 member states.

The certificate would be valid across the 27 EU members, and could also include Norway, Iceland, and Switzerland, European officials said.

A vaccine passport could allow vaccinated EU citizens to travel more easily in Europe by summer, according to a proposal from the European Commission released on Wednesday, March 17, 2021.


HEOC pushing for more vaccinations


In the meantime, now that the second shipment of the vaccines is here, vaccinations will be ramped up, the minister said.

“We had a meeting with the Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC) today, and they have advised us that we want to make sure that the two doses are in and we were saying 70 per cent of the adult population, but they are saying we want to push it to 85 and 90 per cent, but we will strive for 100 per cent.”

He further said: “But once we get to the herd immunity, we will then be able to look into the masks, the distancing and so forth, but we are not out of the woods as it relates to what we have been reading, whether it is in Canada, the United States, Europe, all over the Caribbean.”

He added that if residents take the vaccine, “we can look in terms of opening up the economy, opening up whatever we have to do. We have to make sure that we do whatever is critical to keep the protocols moving.”

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