Natasia Christy Wahyuni, Jakarta – The Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry predicts that the world is moving toward a new norm in which vaccine passports will become a globally accepted solution to reopening of global travels, primarily in the tourism sector.
The country, where less than 10 percent of the population are fully vaccinated to date, will make sure that vaccine passports are implemented fairly because countries around the world are currently on a sharply different level of vaccination, a senior official said on Thursday.
"[Vaccine passports] remain a controversial issue and the World Health Organization is yet to give a nod," said Deputy Foreign Minister Mahendra Siregar.
However, in the Americas and Europe, domestic tourists are asked to show a proof of vaccination when traveling, Mahendra added.
"Vaccination numbers are very high in the United States and gaining a pace in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. It appears that vaccine and vaccine passports will continue to become a global need in the future," Mahendra said.
In the European Union, a vaccine passport is being introduced across all 27 member nations – plus Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, BBC has reported.
Citizens of these nations can download it or obtain a paper copy – at no cost. It is also available to non-EU nationals living legally in member states who have the right to travel to other member states.
"Tourist destinations here must follow this trend, otherwise there will be a massive gap," Mahendra said.
He noted that the resort island of Bali has the best vaccination rate in Indonesia with the entire adult population already receiving the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine and nearly 30 percent of population fully vaccinated so far.
Such an achievement is crucial to dismiss a notion that Indonesia is the global epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic, he added.