One of U.S. President Joe Biden’s first moves upon arriving in the Oval Office has been to require international travelers get a negative COVID-19 test before departing, then quarantine on landing; Britain too is considering tighter measures for arrivals. Both basic protective moves are long overdue. They are also an acknowledgement that carefree trips are still many months away.

In part, that’s because the virus is still advancing fast — aided by a new, more transmissible and potentially deadlier, variant — and vaccinations are not yet keeping up.

It’s also because for all the hopes tied up with vaccine or immunity passports, even fast-moving research is not yet where we need it to be to rely on these certifications alone. To many, they sound like digital versions of old-school yellow fever booklets stapled to travel documents — a familiar, simple fix. Not quite.