Air travel association to launch COVID travel pass

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced it is in the final phase of developing an IATA Travel Pass, a digital health pass that will support the safe reopening of borders.

According to the association, governments are beginning to use testing as a means of limiting the risks of COVID-19 importation when re-opening their borders to travellers without quarantine measures. The travel pass ‘will manage and verify the secure flow of necessary testing or vaccine information among governments, airlines, laboratories and travellers’.

In a press release, the association called said the ‘systematic COVID-19 testing of all international travellers and the information flow infrastructure needed to enable this must support:

‘Governments with the means to verify the authenticity of tests and the identity of those presenting the test certificates; airlines with the ability to provide accurate information to their passengers on test requirements and verify that a passenger meets the requirements for travel; laboratories with the means to issue digital certificates to passengers that will be recognized by governments; and travellers with accurate information on test requirements, where they can get tested or vaccinated, and the means to securely convey test information to airlines and border authorities.

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, said: ‘Today, borders are double locked. Testing is the first key to enable international travel without quarantine measures. The second key is the global information infrastructure needed to securely manage, share and verify test data matched with traveller identities in compliance with border control requirements. That’s the job of IATA Travel Pass. We are bringing this to market in the coming months to also meet the needs of the various travel bubbles and public health corridors that are starting operation.’

A cross-border pilot of the IATA Travel Pass is scheduled for later this year, with a full launch slated for the first quarter of 2021.

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