Digital COVID-19 ‘passport’ may take flight for air travel: report

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Get ready to carry two passports while flying in the age of COVID-19: one from your homeland, and one showing you’ve been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

An airline industry group is working on a universal digital document that would show a passenger’s virus test results and whether they’ve been inoculated, according to The Hill.

The “digital health pass” is in the last stages of development, the International Air Transport Association said, with the goal of verifying information seamlessly between airlines, testing labs, governments and travelers.

“Testing is the first key to enable international travel without quarantine measures,” Alexandre de Juniac, IATA CEO, said in a statement.

“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,” he said.

The COVID-19 passport would direct travelers to verified testing centers and labs at their departure points which would match the rules and standards for wherever they are going, with the hope of avoiding restrictions on arrival, according to the report.

So far one airline has publicly said it is considering making the coronavirus vaccine mandatory for travel: Australia’s Qantas, according to the Daily Mail. 

“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,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said.