Airlines, advocates urge US to create COVID-19 vaccination 'passports'

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By , KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The airline industry and several business groups are asking the Biden administration to develop “vaccine passports” — credentials for travelers to show they’ve been tested and vaccinated for COVID-19.

In a letter to White House COVID-19 Response Team coordinator Jeff Zients, a few dozen groups, including airline trade organizations, airline labor unions and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the United States needs to lead with such an effort, though they do not believe vaccination should be mandatory for travel. They do see the potential for a much-needed economic boost if more people feel safe traveling.

Airlines are losing $150 million a day, according to advocacy group Airlines for America. The organization, in data released on Monday, said U.S. travel volume was 58% below pre-pandemic levels last week.

The concern, as CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg lays out, is that different countries and organizations have or will be coming out with credentials, but too many out there could create confusion and complications.