Travelers will soon be required to present Chinese coronavirus certificates to board international flights and pass through foreign countries’ borders, the CEO of Qatar Airways predicted on Tuesday.
“I think that this will be the new norm that everybody will have to produce a vaccination certificate to board an aeroplane – and not only to board an aeroplane, a lot of countries would require that you be vaccinated before you come to the countries,” Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker told BBC World News on January 19.
Al Baker said he thinks the International Civil Aviation Organization (I.C.A.O.), the International Air Transport Association (I.A.T.A.), and the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) will spearhead an initiative to “introduce a safe pass for people whose vaccination certificates will be recognized internationally.”
Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health will issue a vaccination certificate to all people in the kingdom who have received their second dose of a Chinese coronavirus vaccine requiring two separate injections, the health body announced on January 18. Qataris will receive the vaccination certificate one week after their final dose via Qatar’s online government health portal.
“Covid-19 [Chinese coronavirus] vaccination certificate now available on MyHealth Patient Portal. All individuals who have received 2 doses of the … vaccine will automatically have a vaccination certificate available for them in the MyHealth Patient Portal 7 days after their second dose,” Qatar’s public health ministry said in a statement on Monday.
“Individuals who have not yet registered for the patient portal are advised to do so in order to access their certificate,” the health body added.
Qatar’s neighbor, Saudi Arabia, announced a similar government health system this month designed to track which people in the kingdom have received a Chinese coronavirus vaccine. Saudi Arabia’s health ministry dubbed their version of the vaccination certificate a “Health passport.” It is issued to Saudi citizens and residents via a government-run smartphone app upon their completion of the recommended two doses of a Chinese coronavirus vaccine.
“The passport will reflect the medical condition of its holder and show ‘immune’ for those who completed the vaccination process,” the Riyadh-based Arab News reported on January 7.
Saudi Arabia reopened its air, land, and sea borders with Qatar on January 4 as part of a reconciliation between the two Gulf nations following a three-year diplomatic dispute between Riyadh and Doha.
Al Baker hinted to the BBC on Tuesday that “Qatar Airways will only continue to grow with the lifting of the blockade on Qatar,” which had previously halted flights between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Qatar Airways was specifically banned from entering Saudi airspace as part of the embargo.