The status of the digital COVID Vaccine Card – the bar code we store on our phones and present as proof of vaccination at businesses and places – is chaotic.
While some states, such as California and New York, accept Digital record as proof of vaccination States, such as Alabama, Arkansas and Florida, to allow entry into restaurants and other businesses banned their use, This means that anyone planning to travel to the United States this holiday season will have to search for policies at the destination.
Yet it is undeniable that a digital card is far more convenient than a physical record. For many people, the thought of losing a paper record can cause great anxiety, so it’s a good idea to keep our inoculation data on the devices we carry everywhere. More companies like Apple And Google We have come up with a convenient way to store and retrieve our vaccine credentials.
Much remains uncertain for travelers with the emergence of omicron version, So to help you plan a safe getaway this holiday season, I’ll go over some simple ways to carry your COVID-related health data, including vaccine passports and test results.
Here’s what to know.
Best approach: Apple and Google Wallet apps
First things first. To find out your state’s policies on digital vaccine credentialing, visit its Department of Health website.
Some states, including California, Utah, Washington and New York, offer so-called smart health cards. These are digital credentials that are linked to an official database that contains records of your vaccinations or test results. They come in the form of QR codes, which are essentially bar codes that look like a bunch of black and white squares and contain information about your vaccinations or test results.
States working with Smart Health Card (A complete list can be found online) lets you visit a web portal to add your credentials directly to the official Wallet app on iPhone and Android phones. These Wallet apps are a default place to store data and can be opened immediately by pressing the phone’s power button for quick access to your health document.
Here’s an example of how to do it on an iPhone in California:
Check to see that you have installed the latest software update for iOS (version 15.1.1). To do this, open the Settings app, tap General, and then tap Software Update.
Once you’ve received the Vaccine card, tap the button labeled “Add to Apple Wallet & Health.” You now have access to your Vaccine card by opening the Wallet app or by pressing the power button twice.
And here’s an example of how to do it on an Android phone in New York:
Check to see that you are running version 5 or later of Android. To do this, open Settings, tap System, and choose Advanced and then System Update.
Once you’ve received the vaccine card, tap the button labeled “Save to phone” and follow the instructions to save the shortcut to your home screen. You can now access your Vaccine Card by opening the shortcut. Or you can open the Google Pay app by holding down the Power button and selecting your Vaccine card there.
For COVID test results, you likewise add documents to your mobile wallet using a digital bar code from the state health department or your health care provider.
Most basic method: Save a photo
Those living in states that do not provide digital vaccine credentials can take a digital copy or photograph of their COVID vaccine and take a test record. The next step is to make the photo easier to find. I recommend saving the photo inside a note-taking app, which lets you label the note so that it can be easily brought to the fore using a keyword search.
On iPhone, here’s how you can store records in the Notes app:
Open your photo. Tap the button in the lower-left corner that looks like a square with an arrow pointing up. In the row of apps, swipe up on the Notes app and select it. Here, save the image in a new note.
Now open the Notes app and select the note you just created. Rename the note “Vaccination Record” or “Covid Test Results”.
And here’s how to do that on an Android phone in the Google Keep note-taking app:
In Keep, tap “Add Image” at the bottom. Then select “Choose Image” and choose a picture of your vaccination card or test result.
Label the note and press the Back button.
Sometimes, it’s best to carry the real thing
Digital health cards are convenient in areas where they are accepted, but holiday travelers will still need to research any special needs in their destinations.
Coronavirus pandemic: Key things to know
For entry, some states require travelers to upload their health data to their database. For example, people in Hawaii are required to upload their vaccination proof or negative test results to a secure travel health form in order to receive a QR code that lets them bypass the quarantine.
Once you leave an airport, rules can vary from business to business, including some hotels that require health documentation. If this feels overwhelming, especially when traveling to an unfamiliar place, the easiest thing to do is Carry original, physical documents, Just be sure to keep it in a safe place, like a money belt or plastic pouch.