PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (WPEC) - Before hopping aboard a plane, you soon may be required to flash your medical records in the form of a vaccine passport.
And it doesn’t stop there.
The newly proposed vaccine passport could also act as a pass to get into movie theaters, music concerts, restaurants, bars and shopping malls.
"A lot of things have changed in 2020," said Glen Poole of Port St. Lucie. "It sounds bizarre, but it makes sense."
Governments, airlines, employers, universities, and many other businesses are intensely debating how best to review verified health records during the pandemic to monitor the spread and promote vaccinations.
With the vaccine passport, your COVID-19 records may soon function as an actual passport. Think of arriving at the airport, pulling out your smartphone and scanning a digital record of your vaccination or negative test.
"The whole world snowballed, that’s when I thought travel was in trouble and we’re all in trouble," said Ron Russo, owner of Vacation Superstore Network, Best Price Cruises, and Vogue Vacations in Port St. Lucie.
Russo has watched in complete shock as the coronavirus took-off, traveling clear across the world and slowing the travel industry and bringing nothing but fiscal hardship for everyone on board.
"Nine months of our income was completely wiped out," he said. "It will be difficult for travel agencies to even break even in 2021."
But Russo says after the vaccine rollout announcement, a vaccine passport requirement is now in the works for travelers as business is slowly picking up.
"Many countries are going to put in at least for some time some kind of vaccination requirement," he said.
A so-called digital vaccine passport could have a QR code that would unlock your vaccine and COVID-19 testing information, which tourism experts say could be a requirement to travel and even enter places like stadiums, movie theaters, and concerts.
Several airlines, including Jet Blue and United, are now on board with the idea. They’ve partnered with the common trust network to create a CommonPass app.
And for folks who don't have a smartphone, they would a smart card with their COVID-19 credentials.
This could ultimately help to restart the travel industry with a boost in consumer confidence, Russo said.