Do you need to pack your COVID vaccine card when traveling? Here’s what to know

·3 min read

Keys? Check. Wallet? Check. COVID-19 vaccination card?

Travel plans are back in full swing for many in the U.S., leading to questions on whether you need proof of vaccination in tow the next time you hit the road.

You’ll more than likely need your vaccine card if your next adventure is abroad, as more than a dozen countries require proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test for entry, McClatchy News reported. But what about for domestic travel?

Experts say it depends on your destination.

“[Vaccine] verification will soon be a requirement for travel, work, venues, even schools and every state might have different rules and guidelines,” Judi Korzec, CEO of vaccine management company VaxAtlas, told CBS News. “We need one centralized system to ensure vaccinations and certifications aren’t lost and that personal information is securely stored.”

VaxAtlas is one of a growing number of companies making it possible to carry a digital copy of your COVID-19 vaccine card on the go. Whether digital or physical, keeping proof of vaccination on you may come in handy as more restaurants, retailers and private businesses across the U.S. become vaccine-only establishments.

A gastropub in Atlanta made headlines this week when it announced it would only serve vaccinated guests. Argosy co-owner Armando Celentano said the restaurant’s staff, customers and community are at the heart of its new “no vax, no service” policy.

“We had to close down during a busy weekend, losing out on tens of thousands of dollars,” Celentano told WSB-TV. “We decided that it would make better business sense to not allow unvaccinated people who are more likely to spread the virus into our restaurant.”

Concerns over the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 delta variant prompted a handful of bars and other businesses across California to ask customers for proof of vaccination, according to Eater Los Angeles.

Music lovers headed to Lollapalooza in Chicago this weekend will also need to prove they’ve gotten the jab or produce a negative COVID-19 test if they want to see their favorite performers, the Associated Press reported. The four-day festival kicked off Thursday and is expected to draw nearly 100,000 attendees — daily.

“I would not feel comfortable moving ahead with Lollapalooza without COVID protocols in place,” Allison Arwady, commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Public Health, told the news outlet. “I don’t think I would feel comfortable if this were an indoor event, either. And I frankly don’t think I would feel comfortable if we were sitting in Louisiana right now, where cases are looking like they’re looking.”

If a trip to the Big Easy is on your summer itinerary, it’s probably best to pack a copy of your coronavirus vaccine card and a mask. Three popular New Orleans music venues have joined a growling list of clubs requiring proof of vaccination and an ID to come inside, according to The Biloxi Sun Herald.

A negative coronavirus test from the last 72 hours will also get you access.

Your vaccine card, or a digital copy, may also prove handy if you’re hitting the high seas this summer. Several cruise lines, including Carnival Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line, now require passengers to be fully vaccinated depending on where the voyage is headed, Travel + Leisure reported.

“What we’re hearing from our cruisers is that a wide majority - 86% - will cruise if vaccine requirements are in place,” Colleen McDaniel, editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic, told the travel magazine. “And of our readers who have already been vaccinated, most say that their vaccine makes them even more likely to take a cruise — and they’re ready to travel in the very near future.”

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