The Covid-19 travel certificates currently being used by the United Kingdom and throughout the European Union are set to be integrated with the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Travel Pass. The move is bound to streamline the travel process the millions around the world, providing a convenient way to store important information for travelers.
The IATA were among the first to pilot a travel pass scheme, starting the development of their app in late 2020. However, since then, there have been several more travel pass-type systems created and used by countries around the world. Here’s a closer look at what the IATA’s Travel Pass provides, and what the integration means for travelers.
IATA Travel Pass – Information For Travelers
According to their website, the IATA Travel Pass is a smartphone application “that helps travelers to store and manage their verified certifications for Covid-19 tests or vaccines,” that is also “more secure and efficient than current paper processes used to manage health requirements,” – a feature that the IATA state is important due to the large scale of testing or vaccine checks that will need to be securely managed during air travel at present and in the future.
The Travel Pass is comprised of four key modules – the registry of health requirements; the registry of testing/vaccination centres; the lab app; and the Travel Pass app. These modules:
- Enable passengers to find information on travel, testing and vaccine requirements for their journey
- Enables passengers to find testing centers and labs at their departure and/or arrival location that can conduct COVID-19 tests in accordance with the type of test required for their journey
- Enable authorized labs and test centers to securely send test results or vaccination certificates to passengers
- Enable 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
Whilst the IATA Travel Pass may have become widely available to the public on April 15th 2021, when it was added to app stores around the world, it was first used a few weeks before in test flights by Emirates and Etihad Airways, for specific flights leaving both Etihad and Abu Dhabi airports.
Integration With UK and EU – What Travelers Should Know
Having to download a series of different travel certificate applications and going through the process of uploading and verifying tests can be off-putting for many travelers. However, the integration of the UK and EU’s travel certificates with the IATA’s Travel Pass app could cut down on the levels of bureaucracy going forward. The change means that travelers with either the EU Digital Covid-19 Certificate (DCC) or UK NHS Covid-19 Pass can upload their details onto the IATA Travel Pass app.
Speaking about the move, Nick Careen, the senior vice president for operations safety and security, said: “Covid-19 vaccination certificates are becoming a widespread requirement for international travel. Handling the European and UK certificates through IATA Travel Pass is an important step forward, providing convenience for travelers, authenticity for governments and efficiency for airlines.”
Travelers will now be able to use the IATA Travel Pass to not only look up accurate Covid-19 travel information for their trip, but they will also be able to make an electronic version of their passport and import their certification of vaccination or test results – all in the same app. Not only does this provide assurance to border control authorities and airline staff that the credentials are genuine and authentic, it also makes travel easier for both passengers and staff alike.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories