Will Covid-free certificates be mandatory for travel after the lift of Coronavirus lockdown?

The deadly coronavirus has caused devastation globally. In wake of the fact that even one traveler of coronavirus can create havoc in a visiting country, there is a high likelihood that countries might demand Covid-free certificates from those who wish to enter its territories.

Covid-free certificates – The probable prerequisite to travel

It has been for the first time in the history of the world that a virus has managed to halt all travels between countries. There are some whispers that after the lift of this lockdown, many countries might demand Covid-free certificates from those who want to traverse countries. Some people state that countries might demand from travelers proofs that they are not carrying the infection at the time of travel.

The Kuwait demand for Covid-free certificate (Source: The Filipino Times)

Holidaymakers may need to prove that the virus has not infected them presently. And hence they are safe to enter the territories of a country.

How would the Covid-safe documents be issued?

Authorities have not clarified on what basis they would issue these certificates.  But it is likely that the person may need to show a test of antibodies in blood. Euro News, Weekly has reported that Madrid Association of Hoteliers (AEHM) is looking into obtaining a ‘Covid-19 Free Hotel’ certification. This would assure that their premises is safe from the point of view of the virus. It would mean proving that both the staff and guests are not having the infection.

Covid-free certificate for Thai (Source: Thai airways)

Many countries are asking non-residents to get proof from health authorities that they pose no coronavirus risk to their nation. Some countries have started such strict regulations in an incomplete way at the moment. The same could become a rule after authorities life the lockdown.

The shortcomings of these Covid-free certificates

The world is still trying to check and control the coronavirus infections. The virus is very new. Hence even the medical fraternity is at a loss to understand the whole pathogenesis and immunity behind the infection.

Infected and recovered people are demonstrating a reinfection and positivity of the coronavirus again. Health Secretary Matt Hancock stated earlier on Question Time:

When the science is good enough to understand the immunity that people have after having had the disease, then we are looking at introducing something like an immunity certificate or maybe a wristband that says ‘I’ve had it and I’m immune and I can’t pass it on and I’m highly unlikely to catch it’.

A demand for Covid-free certificate (Source: Times of India)

But the validity of such immunity certificates is questionable because researchers yet do not know much about the immunity after coronavirus infection. Despite the presence of antibodies, the coronavirus can again infect an individual.

Claire Standley, assistant professor, Georgetown University’s Center for Global Health Science and Security stated that the coronavirus antibodies tests are neither specific nor sensitive. The latter could lead to false-negative results. Claire explained:

“High false negative rates (lack of sensitivity) of the test mean that those currently available are not recommended for patient-level clinical diagnosis.”

Things are still too early to introduce such types of regulations. This is because there is a lack of accurate and complete information on the virus and its immunity.

Also, read Coronavirus vaccine-When will it roll out and will it be effective in disease control?

Source: The Sun UK