Are Covid Vaccine Passports The Next Step In Reopening International Travel?

By Paula Gallagher
·  2 min read
Are Covid Vaccine Passports The Next Step In Reopening International Travel?

The International Air Transport Association is months away from finalizing a digital COVID-19 passport that would allow for international travel again.

This passport would be a universally accepted documentation that would include a traveler’s record of COVID testing and vaccination. It would be able to be accessed and verified by labs, airlines, and governments.  

The CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Alexandre de Juniac, said in a statement, “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 traveler identities in compliance with border control requirements...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." 

The passport, also known as the IATA Travel Pass, would provide information about testing centers and labs at your point of departure to ensure you can travel to your destination without restrictions such as quarantine upon arrival. 

At this point, not a single government has enforced mandatory vaccination before international travel. But the CEO of Australian airline Qantas, Alan Joyce, has said he wants his airline to require vaccinations. 

“We are looking at changing our terms and conditions to say for international travelers that we will ask people to have a vaccination before they can get on the aircraft,” Joyce said.

Both Air New Zealand and Korean Air have also indicated that they may ultimately require vaccinations before flying with them as well. 

While the airline companies hope the COVID vaccine will improve business by reducing health concerns, those who are hesitant to get such a quickly made vaccine, or who choose not to vaccinate at all, might be prevented from flying internationally if more airlines choose to require vaccination.

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