US taking ‘very close look’ at vaccine passports

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A woman wearing a face mask stands in front of mural of people wearing face masks to spread awareness for the prevention of the coronavirus in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia on Friday, May 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas says the government is taking “a very close look” at the possibility of vaccine passports for travel into and out of the United States.

As head of the Department of Homeland Security, Mayorkas oversees the Transportation Security Administration, which safeguards the nation’s transportation systems.

Mayorkas told ABC on Friday that one of his guiding principles throughout the coronavirus pandemic has been “the value of diversity, equity and inclusion and making sure that any passport that we provide for vaccinations is accessible to all and that no one is disenfranchised.”

The European Union, some Asian governments and the airline industry are scrambling to develop COVID-19 vaccine passports to help kickstart international travel. They’re working on systems that would allow travelers to use mobile phone apps to prove they’ve been vaccinated, helping them avoid quarantine requirements at their destinations.

Mayorkas says the underlying point is: “Everyone should get vaccinated.”

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MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— South Africa race to give vaccine shots to older adults before virus surges

— California giving away $116.5 million in attempt to get millions vaccinated

—Japan to extendvirus emergency with safe Olympics at stake

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Follow more of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemicand https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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