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Vaccine passports gaining ground, Singapore discussing it with other countries

kajima employee gunasekar udayakumar uses the nervotec app to scan his face and check his vital signs as part of a daily checkup for employees at a construction site in central singapore
An employee uses the Nervotec app to scan his face and check his vital signs as part of a daily checkup for employees at a construction site REUTERS/Joseph Campbell

Singapore is discussing the mutual recognition of vaccine certificates with other countries, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said, calling it a necessary step towards resuming global travel.

Singapore, a regional travel and tourism hub, has been rolling out its COVID-19 vaccination programme over the last two months. It has approved shots from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

“Even if each of us gears up to secure our own supplies, we must cooperate internationally so that all countries including developing ones have access to vaccines for their people,” Lee said in a video recording posted on Facebook on Wednesday.

“We are also discussing mutual recognition of vaccine certification with interested countries,” he said. Lee did not specify the countries.

Singapore’s economy, which recorded its worst recession in 2020 due to the pandemic, is staging an uneven recovery this year and a return of more business and tourism travel would be a boost for the city state.

Greece, Spain and Britain are among other nations looking into the idea of vaccine certificates or so-called vaccine passports in a bid to revive economies and travel.

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