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IATA hints at vaccination requirement to fly internationally

The director general of airline body IATA has hinted that vaccinations are likely to be required to fly across borders in the future, from BTN, Business Travel News.

Speaking to tourism body the UNWTO yesterday, IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac said, “We will not be able to eliminate the risk of Covid-19 in any foreseeable timeline. So we must learn to manage the risk of Covid-19 so that we can safely resume more normal lives and activities – including travel.”

De Juniac went on to add: “For travel and tourism, testing is the immediate solution to re-open borders. And eventually that will transition to vaccine requirements. For both we need a globally accepted means to verify that people have accurate tests or genuine vaccines.”

Qantas has already indicated that proof of vaccination is likely to be required to enter Australia.

However, we wrote last week about how the bulk of business travellers wont qualify for the vaccine until late 2021.

De Juniacs comments came as Emirates announced that it is to begin a trial of IATAs Travel Pass digital health passport from April.

Emirates said it would use the app to allow passengers travelling from Dubai to share their Covid-19 test status directly with the airline before reaching the airport. The details will be auto-populated into the airlines check-in system.

IATAs Travel Pass will have four independent modules when it is rolled out in March:

• A registry of entry requirements

• A registry of labs, test centres or vaccination providers

• A means for passengers to securely upload test or vaccination certificates on their phones and share them when appropriate, and

• A digital identity to verify the owner of the certificate.

Travel Pass is one of a number of competing digital health passport systems, including WEFs CommonPass, ICCs AOKPass and V-Health Passport.

Adel Al Redha, Emirates chief operating officer, said: “While international travel remains as safe as ever, there are new protocols and travel requirements with the current global pandemic. We have worked with IATA on this innovative solution to simplify and digitally transmit the information that is required by countries and governments into our airline systems, in a secure and efficient manner.”

 

Photo Credit: Steven Cornfield/Unsplash