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A flurry of new health certificates may help restart airlines and tourism. But they risk dividing the world into vaccine "haves" and "have-nots."   © Photo illustration by Nakako Shiotsuki
The Big Story

Vaccine passports: Can they save travel? Should they?

Fairness vies with economics as governments weigh the risks of opening

ERI SUGIURA, Nikkei Staff Writer | East Asia

TOKYO -- The launch of China's International Travel Health Certificate on March 8 was music to the ears of frequent travelers like Victor, a 30-year-old financier based in Hong Kong. "I'm healthy, I'm protected and I'm also safe to be around," he said. "I want to be able to travel freely around the world like before."

Easily downloadable on the ubiquitous WeChat social media app, the certificate shows the user's current COVID-19 status, results of recent tests and vaccinations received. One of the first "vaccine passports" of its kind in the world, it may revolutionize travel.

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