IT’S a small price to pay to be able to travel again and, while it may be an extra encumbrance for travellers, in truth, vaccine passports are nothing new.

In fact it was the last great pandemic we faced, the Spanish Flu, which hastened in permanent use of passports in the first place.

With a blank book to fill the powers-that-be explored whether the new passports should include a general medical certificate page but technological inadequacies put paid to that. There is, if anything, too much choice now.

The International Air Transport Association’s Travel Pass Initiative, an app, is an early forerunner and taps into their Timatic database which laboratories feed your information into.

The Swiss-run Commons Project and the World Economic Forum have promoted the CommonPass which delivers a yes/no answer.

The AOKpass presents your medical records which security can scan and is being trialled on Etihad flights between Abu Dhabi and Paris while British Airways are trialling the similar VeriFLY on routes between London and the US.

Meanwhile Scottish travellers desperate for a holiday this year and the travel sector whose very survival depends on the reopening of routes await developments.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson warned over misusing proof of immunity with vaccine passports

Joanne Dooey, president of the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA), said: “A vaccine certificate is a safe way to get people moving again; and not just for those who want some summer sunshine but for those who have been unable to visit family and friends overseas or to travel for business.

“There’s a chance that some countries such as Greece and Spain may require a certificate to allow UK travellers entry to the country.

“The concept of vaccine certificates as proof that you are protected against specific diseases is by no means new.”

She continued: “Some wishing to travel to a host of countries including parts of Africa and Central and South America and the Far East already have to produce a yellow fever certificate – known as an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) – to gain entry and some countries like the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia require a polio vaccination certificate if you are entering from a risk country.

“So, the concept of certificates is a tried and tested one for international travel.

“Travel agents are used to advising their clients on the certificate requirements for each destination and travellers are used to carrying their certificates as appropriate.

“We cannot see how this cannot be implemented on a global scale as the yellow fever certificate is currently, to allow freedom of movement for those who have been vaccinated.”

Dooey added: “Boris Johnson said that there are ‘deep and complex issues’ with using vaccination passports or certificates, but we fail to see how a suggested vaccine certificate for Covid-19 can be seen as restricting anyone’s rights when such a system already exists.

“For example, if you try to enter Kenya or China without a yellow fever certificate, you will be turned around at the airport and faced with buying yourself another flight home immediately.”