The state of the digital covid vaccine card – the bar codes we store on our phones and the proof of inoculation we present to businesses and locations – is chaotic.
While some states, such as California and New York, accept digital records as proof of vaccination to allow access to restaurants and other businesses, states such as Alabama, Arkansas and Florida have banned their use. This means that anyone planning to travel to the United States this holiday season should research the destination policy.
However, it is undeniable that digital cards are more convenient than physical records. For many, the idea of placing paper records in the wrong place can cause great concern, so it’s best to have our inoculation data on devices we carry everywhere. And like companies Apples And Google Our vaccine credentials have come up with convenient ways to store and retrieve.
With the rise of the Omicron version remains very uncertain for passengers. So to help you plan a safe escape this holiday season, I’ll give you some simple ways to carry your covid-related health data, including vaccine passports and test results.
Here’s what you know.
Best method: Apple and Google Wallet apps
First things first. To find your state’s policies on digital vaccine evidence, visit its Department of Health website.
Some states, including California, Utah, Washington, and New York, offer so-called smart health cards. These are digital proofs that are linked to an official database that contains a record of your vaccine 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 vaccination or test results.
States working with smart health cards (The full list can be found online) Let you go to the web portal to add your credentials directly to the official wallet apps on iPhones and Android phones. These wallet apps are the default location for storing data and can be opened instantly by pressing the phone’s power button for quick access to your health documents.
Here’s an example of how to do this on an iPhone in California:
Check that you have the latest software update installed for iOS (version 15.1.1). To do so, open the Settings app, tap General, and then tap Software Update.
Once you have received the vaccine card, tap on the “Add to Apple Wallet & Health” button. You now have access to your vaccine card by opening the Wallet app or by double-clicking the power button.
And here’s an example of how to do this on an Android phone in New York:
Check that you are running version 5 or later of Android. To do so, open Settings, tap System, and select Advanced, and then update the system.
Once you’ve received the vaccine card, tap on 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 a shortcut. Or you can open the Google Pay app by pressing the power button and selecting your vaccine card there.
For Covid test results, you can add documents to your mobile wallet using digital bar codes from the state health department or your healthcare provider.
The most basic method: save photos
Residents of states that do not provide digital vaccine proofs may carry a digital copy by taking a photo of their covid vaccine or test record. The next step is to make the photo easier to find. I recommend saving photos within the note-taking app, which lets you label notes so they can be easily displayed using keyword search.
On the iPhone, here’s how to store records in the Notes app:
Open your photo. Tap the button in the lower-left corner that looks like a square with the arrow pointing upwards. In the Apps row, swipe to the Notes app and select it. Here, save the image to a new note.
Now open the Notes app and select the note you just created. Note Rename “Vaccination Record” or “Covid Test Results”.
And here’s how to do it on an Android phone with the Google Keep Note taking app:
In Keep, tap “Add Image” below. Then select “Choose Image” and choose a photo of your vaccine card or test result.
Label the note and press the back button.
Sometimes, it’s better to carry the real thing
Digital health cards are convenient in areas where they are accepted, but vacation travelers will still need to research any special requirements for their destinations.
For entry, some states require passengers to upload their health data to their own database. Hawaii, for example, requires people to obtain a QR code allowing them to bypass quarantine by uploading their vaccine proof or negative test results in a safe travel health form.
Once you get out of the airport, the rules, including some hotels that require health documents, may vary from business to business. If it feels overwhelming, especially when visiting unfamiliar places, the most foolish thing is to carry original, material documents. Be sure to keep it in a safe place, like a money belt or a plastic bag.