An IATA Travel Pass app is expected to go live sometime within the next couple of weeks, enabling travelers to prove to airlines that they have received COVID-19 vaccinations and/or tested negative for the infection.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for airlines, representing almost 300 of them …
Most countries and airlines already require proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test in order to permit travel, and it’s expected that this will extend to evidence of COVID-19 vaccinations in order to facilitate a return to pre-pandemic travel levels.
The app is designed to allow you to import test results from government-recognized laboratories, alongside official government vaccination certificates. That means airlines and border officials will only have to check a single app, with the data presented in a single format, instead of the many different apps provided by different countries.
IATA explained how the app will work, and the benefits it will offer.
IATA Travel Pass is a mobile app that helps travelers to store and manage their verified certifications for COVID-19 tests or vaccines. It is more secure and efficient than current paper processes used to manage health requirements (the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis, for example). This is important given the potentially enormous scale of testing or vaccine verifications that will need to be securely managed.
The IATA Travel Pass provides: Governments with the means to verify the authenticity of tests or vaccinations and the identity of those presenting their 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 certificates to passengers that will be recognized by governments; and travelers with accurate information on test requirements, where they can get tested or vaccinated, and the means to securely convey the results/certificates to airlines and border authorities.
Vaccinations don’t offer complete protection against being infected by COVID-19, but they do dramatically reduce the chances of infection, along with two other benefits. First, among those who are still infected, they massively decrease the severity of symptoms. Second – and crucially for airlines – vaccinated people who do still get infected are far less likely to pass the infection to others.
Reuters reports that the app is currently in the testing phase, with 60,000 people enrolled in the beta test.
“Feedback (has) been very positive. We expect to go live out of the testing mode in the next couple of weeks,” IATA Director General Willie Walsh told reporters during an online media briefing.