Digital COVID-19 vaccination passport – the future of travel?

Now that several vaccines for COVID-19 are on the horizon, many travelers are wondering what to expect when travelling in a post COVID-19 world. At the moment some countries are completely free of travel restrictions while others require COVID-19 tests and others are completely closed to everyone.  In 2021 vaccines and a digital Covid-19 vaccination passport of sorts may be required for certain countries. A few days ago, in fact, the Australian airline Qantas has already  announced that they are working towards requiring all international travelers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus before boarding a Qantas flight!

IATA (the International Air Transport Association) has also announced that it’s in the final stage of developing a digital “Travel Pass” that would help jump start the reopening of international borders and international travel. The Travel Pass would be an online and app based system for both IOS and Android that would be a centralized place to obtain updated and correct entry requirements for all countries as well as a place to upload valid vaccination certificates.

During the COVID pandemic it has been extremely challenging for both airlines and travelers alike to obtain correct timely information regarding country openings, quarantines, COVID test requirements and border closures as these have in some cases changed almost on a daily basis. Some of the key goals of the pass would also be to:

  • Provide travelers with verified testing centers and labs at their departure locations which meet the standards for testing and vaccination requirements of their destinations.
  • Give governments an easy way to verify the authenticity of passenger’s COVID19 tests.
  • Grant travelers a “one stop shop” and information resource to verify accurate country specific entry requirements.
  • Offer an easy platform to upload vaccination certificates with QR codes.
  • Ensure that COVID tests travelers take are acceptable for entry.

The Travel Pass will be rolled out in the first quarter of 2021 and is one of several proposed digital solutions (including The CommonPass mobile app, created by the Commons Project Foundation and the World Economic Forum) which has been tested by several airlines carriers for the post COVID travel world.

As far as which application or  solution will be ultimately be adopted for mainstream use only time will tell.  Many interesting solutions are in the works and some variation of a digital Covid-19 vaccination passport will almost certainly be a reality for jetsetters as well as the evolution of travel insurance adapted to COVID-19.  We will be monitoring all developments and updating country entry requirements in our our website with THIS link.

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