Travel and hospitality industries facing vaccination passport security risks

As news emerges that pub landlords in the UK may be able to bar entry to people who have not been vaccinated, the issue of vaccination passport security is the latest facing the beleaguered travel and hospitality industries, according to Adam Schrader, director of operations at travel risk intelligence company, Riskline.

Throughout the travel, meetings and events industry worldwide, vaccinations passports and certificates are widely viewed by governments and airlines as the catalyst to restart their industries and kickstart economies.

Singapore Airlines is now testing the IATA Travel Pass on its Singapore to London route.

Schrader said the immediate consequence of this development will be counterfeiting.

"If vaccination passports are to be the key to accessing so many aspects of life when they reopen, then there is a very strong motivation for millions of people to acquire a fake passport when they haven’t yet had their jabs, either by choice or lack of opportunity," he said.

“A clear indication of this came in The Sun newspaper in the UK which reported in early December – as soon as vaccination began in the country -- that fake COVID vaccination cards were being sold for £5 on Tiktok, while thousands of people are trying to obtain forgeries in Israel where their ‘Green Pass’ is already being used to access gyms and venues. A rapidly growing number of templates for fake documents are being offered on the dark web.”

Schrader believes that market forces will make many forgeries of good and bad quality readily available very soon.

“Standardisation of design, like there is worldwide for identity passports, is urgently needed, along with the introduction of sophisticated anti-fraud measures in the design and manufacturing. Moving away from paper documents would make counterfeiting more difficult,” he added.

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