Imagine, in the soon future, getting a coronavirus testing kit in the mail. Its small size makes it portable, and the simple act of pricking your finger for a blood test you only need to wait around 15 minutes for lets you know whether you’re immune to COVID-19.
If you are, the government can authorise documentation that proves so and you can go about your day with your “immunity passport”.
The idea for many of us sounds appealing, and many governments also feel the same. German researchers want to send out hundreds and thousands of tests to citizens over the next few weeks to see who is or isn’t immune to COVID-19 so those who are healthy can return to daily life.
Scientists are sceptical
The UK has also raised the prospect of doing something similar. The country has stockpiled over 17.5 million home antibody testing kits but has faced major scrutiny from scientists who are concerned that the tests may not be accurate and therefore unreliable.
In an interview with the Guardian, Dr Philippa Whitford, an SNP MP and former surgeon said that immunity passports could be used specifically for key workers in healthcare in the UK but would require a high level of administration in order to cater to the entire country.
Whitford said the length of time someone may have immunity after they have had COVID-19 was still largely unknown. Someone contracting Sars, which is also a coronavirus, did not have long-term immunity – potentially only up to a year after the infection.
Concerns have also been raised that immunity passport schemes could incentivise certain groups, such as young people who are falling into debt through lack of work, to purposely contract the virus, potentially putting themselves and others at risk, in the hope that they can return to their jobs once recovered.
In Wuhan, China, the birthplace of the virus, lockdown rules have lessened. A major factor towards the ease was China’s use of a system like that of the immunity passports. They released a QR-based health code system on smartphones that assigns each user one of three colours — green, yellow or red — based on their location, basic health information and travel history. Green allows freedom of movement, while yellow and red indicate that you need to self-quarantine or enter a supervised quarantine facility, respectively.
The constant surveillance for the green light determines entrance into restaurants, malls, public transport or work.
Hope for second citizens
With mobility largely monitored and restricted in our new way of life for what seems like the foreseeable future, legal and medical systems guide our independence. Though borders may be closed to foreigners, many nationals abroad can continue their journeys home. During the first weeks of the outbreak, many governments issued flights to bring their nationals home immediately before travel bans strengthened.
With that said, the insurance of a dual citizenship has seldom been so blatantly important as now for those who wish to travel to a nation with a better healthcare system.
As a solution, many Caribbean islands offer the opportunity to obtain their country’s citizenship. Well-vetted foreign nationals, in exchange for their contribution to the country’s government funds or real estate projects, can also acquire citizenship in a matter of 2 to 3 months.
With it, individuals born to lands that restrict visa-free or visa on arrival entrance to large parts of the world can move swiftly to safety and security. With citizenship by investment programmes, new citizens and their families are welcomed with open arms no matter the world’s circumstances.
How can I find out more?
If you have any questions about the citizenship by investment process in the Caribbean, or about the forms and documents you will need in order to complete your citizenship application, contact our experts at CS Global Partners.