IATA has launched its new Travel Pass saying that to re-open borders without quarantine and restart aviation governments need to be confident that they are effectively mitigating the risk of importing COVID-19, with this meaning having accurate information on passengers’ COVID-19 health status.
Creating a digital platform for passengers with information on what tests, vaccines and other measures they require prior to travel, details on where they can get tested as well as giving the passengers the ability to share their tests and vaccination results in a verifiable, safe and privacy-protecting manner is the key to giving governments the confidence to open borders and to address this challenge IATA is launching the IATA Travel Pass.
IATA goes on to say that the fragmented and diverse set of COVID-19 testing requirements for entry and exit as well as the range of different types of tests (PCR, LAMP, antigen and spectroscopic) required by governments have created a challenging and complex environment for immigration authorities, passengers and airlines to navigate, with and information gap and passengers confused and need accurate information, but they do not know where to find it – or understand it, even if they do find it.
In addition, airline check-in agents need to follow extensive entry requirement guidance and try to determine the authenticity of multiple non-standard test documents passengers present to them, leading to health check inefficiencies, errors and fraud – an increasing problem around the world.
The information flow infrastructure that is needed for systematic testing 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 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
IATA says that the solution is IATA Travel Pass, they describe as a global and standardized solution to validate and authenticate all country regulations regarding COVID-19 passenger travel requirements, with IATA Travel Pass incorporating four open sourced and interoperable modules which can be combined for an end-to-end solution:
|REGISTRY OF HEALTH REQUIREMENTS||REGISTRY OF TESTING / VACCINATION CENTERS||LAB APP||CONTACTLESS TRAVEL APP|
|Enables passengers to find accurate information on travel, testing (and eventually vaccine) requirements for their journey
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|Enables passengers to find testing centres and labs at their departure location which meet the standards for testing/vaccination requirements of their destination||Enables authorized labs and test centers to securely send test results or vaccination certificates to passengers||Enables passengers to (1) create a ‘digital passport’, (2) verify their test/vaccination meets the regulations & (3) shares test or vaccination certificates with authorities to facilitate travel.
Can be used by travelers to manage travel documentation digitally and seamlessly throughout the travel experience.
IATA says that the main priority is to get people traveling again safely, with in the immediate term that means establishing confidence in governments that systematic pre-departure COVID-19 testing can work as a replacement for quarantine requirements and that will eventually develop into a vaccine program.
The IATA Travel Pass is a solution for both as it is built it in modules as an industry solution based on open source standards. It can be used in combination with other providers or as an end-to-end solution, with the most important thing is that it is responsive to industry needs while enabling a competitive market.
A report by John Alwyn-Jones