African airlines could adopt Covid-19 vaccine passports by 2022 - aviation experts
By Fredrick Obura | May 25th 2021
The need to get a Covid-19 vaccine certificate before you travel to any African country or abroad could become a reality over the next 12 months.
BlueBird Aviation General Manager Hussein Mohammed however projects that it would take a little longer for African airlines to fly across borders due to low vaccination rates across the continent.
“If most of the people were vaccinated, it makes it easier for airlines because you have sufficient passenger load that is free to travel. The downside is the adoption of the Covid Vaccine passport worldwide,” he said.
“We cannot act unilaterally. Kenya cannot say we require all passengers to have a Covid-19 passport while Rwanda, UK or Australia don’t require it, then what we will have is that passengers will avoid your airline and go to an airline that will accept Covid-ve test results.”
He said developed nations such as the US have already achieved 70 per cent vaccination of the adult population - who have received their first dose of the vaccine while close to 40 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated.
The aviation boss said introducing Covid-ve vaccine passports in such jurisdictions is possible compared to Kenya or Africa where many people are yet to get vaccinated.
“Here is a situation that will take 12 months or more for 70 per cent of the adult population to be fully vaccinated. We have to be able to be comparable to developed countries. Until we reach such a time when we are comparable to these developed countries, honestly, the Covid Passport is not yet an option for most of Africa,” he noted.
Mr Mohammed sees a combination requiring passengers to produce Covid-19 certificates showing that they are fully vaccinated and those with Covid-ve results before boarding a flight.
“I see that for the next 12 months and probably beyond, that there might be a consensus among people in the aviation industry worldwide agreeing on a specific Covid passport requirement for all travels,” said Mohammed.
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