A new survey shows growing support in the U.S. for vaccine passports amid rising positive COVID-19 cases due to the more transmissible Delta variant.

Travel website Upgraded Points conducted a survey in early June that found 81.8% of U.S. respondents welcomed vaccine passports. Meanwhile, 54.9% of those surveyed agreed hotels, airlines, and other travel services should require customers to prove they are vaccinated against the virus.

The survey also found that 58% of the respondents believed the transportation industry — cruise ships, buses, trains, and airlines — should separate unvaccinated and vaccinated passengers.

Although there appears to be major support for vaccine passports, Upgraded Points CEO Alex Miller believes respondents may have given different answers if the survey was given several months earlier.

Vaccine passports have become more and more of a reality with time and appear to be a potential path to normalcy,” Miller explained. 

“The more they are discussed and even introduced, the more likely people may be to get the vaccine, which will ultimately aid in the overall goal of limiting the spread of Covid-19.”

Airlines like Southwest, which saw sales gains in July, reported that the Delta variant is responsible for its drop in bookings and expect anywhere between a 15% to 20% drop in revenue during the months of August and September compared to 2019.

“The Company has recently experienced a deceleration in close-in bookings and an increase in close-in trip cancellations in August 2021, which are believed to be driven by the recent rise in COVID-19 cases associated with the Delta variant,” Southwest stated in its profit and revenue forecast.

Despite Delta variant concerns, observers remain confident the rollout of Covid vaccines means the world will not return to the strict lockdowns seen last year Despite Delta variant concerns, observers remain confident the rollout of Covid vaccines means the world will not return to the strict lockdowns seen last year Photo: AFP / Apu GOMES