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Is a vaccine required to fly in 2021?

Immunity passport, travel pass, vaccination, travel corridor, etc. Everything you need to know about traveling by air in 2021.

January 21, 2021

Covid-19 has rocked the travel industry and with the first vaccine being rolled out in many countries, travelers are wondering whether or not they will need the vaccination to fly in 2021. The area is a continually evolving one with updates seemingly changing every day, however we have put together the latest advice so you can remain informed for your upcoming business travel.

Do I need to be vaccinated for Covid-19 to fly?

A question we get a lot here at SoldoutNight. At the moment, a Coivd-19 vaccination is not required for flying. The vaccination rollout is still in its infancy and therefore it is not fair to expect people to have had access to it. That being said, many airlines have made comments about the vaccine being a requirement of travel in the future. At this stage, we don’t know whether this would apply to all travel or international travel only.

Are there other required travel vaccines?

It is not uncommon for vaccines to be a requirement of travel. For instance, proof of the Yellow Fever vaccine is necessary to enter certain countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Other countries require travelers to have had Hepatitis A, Tetanus and Typhoid. The Covid-19 vaccine would simply be another vaccine on this list. Always remember to check entry requirements when planning a trip to ensure you meet all criteria.

Will vaccine requirements vary from airline to airline?

This is impossible to predict as only time will tell whether governments will implement a vaccine entry requirement for their country or whether each airline will enact their own vaccination policy. Currently, Qantas is the only airline to have said that a Covid-19 vaccination will be a ‘necessity’ of international travel, however other airlines like Delta Air and Korean Air have suggested they will be taking a similar approach. It is likely we will have to see how governments respond to the Covid-19 situation and then wait for airlines to make their announcements.

What is an immunity passport and do I need one to travel?

An immunity passport is one idea that has been suggested to help reopen international travel more quickly. Essentially, the idea is that each traveler would be required to carry a document that outlines their vaccination history, otherwise known as an ‘immunity passport’. While the idea is gaining some traction, there are still a few questions being asked around the length of immunity from the vaccine and asymptomatic travelers.

What other options are being considered in relation to travel and vaccinations?

Israel has committed to their version of an immunity passport, known as the ‘green passport’. Every citizen is entitled to one after they have received both rounds of the Covid-19 vaccine. This passport means that standard quarantine procedures do not apply to them, even if they come into contact with an individual who has Covid-19.

Additionally, the IATA (International Air Travel Association) is working on an online system to track vaccines. The IATA Travel Pass would see travelers uploading their vaccination history and other relevant documentation to an online portal that airlines and border security can access. It would make it much easier to process travelers, which is sure to be considered a good thing by leisure and corporate travelers alike.

What should I keep in mind when flying before the vaccine is readily available?

Every airline is implementing their own practices and policies to keep travelers safe. It is important to understand travel requirements for the airlines and airports that apply to you so you can play your part in safe travel. Also remember to wear a mask when required and use hand sanitizer regularly to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19. 

Should I get tested for Covid-19 before traveling? 

Yes, it is a good idea to get tested for Covid-19 before traveling. In fact, many airlines are now requiring every passenger to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test in the 72 hours prior to departure.  

What is a travel corridor?

A travel corridor is a particular flight route that has been developed to remove or minimize quarantine requirements. They are allowing some movement around the globe by connecting two low-risk destinations where quarantine periods can be significantly reduced or eradicated. With the rapid changes occurring, travel corridors are also being updated regularly to ensure minimal risk.

Should I only be travelling for essential reasons?

This really depends on where you are travelling. In some countries, there are mandatory quarantine periods for tourists, making it difficult to go on vacation. Sticking to essential travel is likely to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading Covid-19, but also help you to reduce your time spent in quarantine.