As countries worldwide begin to open up for travel, or at least forge reopening plans, vaccine passports are likely to become ubiquitous. This is certainly the case for Japan, which is expected to implement a vaccine passport program soon, according to Reuters. The passports will likely be in the form of a smartphone app, which allows travelers to scan QR codes at airports before boarding their flights to Japan.
Although the government had previously expressed concerns that requiring vaccination passports could lead to discrimination against people unable to receive shots for various reasons, the economic incentives for encouraging the return of business travel are weighing more heavily. The app may also include PCR testing information, which would be accepted in place of vaccination confirmation, though details haven’t been released yet.
The app is expected to mirror CommonPass, an app being developed in other countries with the help of the World Economic Forum. It will link to the Vaccination Record System — a government database of people who have received shots.
Currently, Japan only allows entry to citizens, foreign residents, and foreigners with “special exceptional circumstances.” All travelers must submit negative COVID-19 test results from a test taken within 72 hours of departure. The Olympics are also still weighing whether or not to allow travelers from other countries to spectate at the games — but you’d be way better off planning a trip for another time.