IATA Travel Pass: How Borders Will Reopen without Covid-19 quarantine rules.
This year, many people around the world will be in line to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with Pfizer, Oxford, Moderna, or some of the other vaccines that will hit the market soon in 2021.
Many countries around the world, including the UK, Russia, and China, have already begun mass corona vaccination campaigns. As more and more vaccines are coming out, it is becoming more complicated for health administrators to decide what steps they should take for people who are vaccinated or unvaccinated at the border. IATA travel pass might be a solution to have a commonly recognized document that proves your Covid-19 vaccination.
It is very unclear as there are SARS-COV-2 vaccines that will have different outcomes, and many shots of vaccines may or may not stop those vaccinated people from spreading the virus. This year, the big question is, how will countries manage incoming people who have or haven’t been vaccinated?
Now the big question is, what will happen at the borders?
It is not clear. This is because it is not sure that the approved vaccines will stop COVID-19 transmission or not. This is the reason why there will be partial restrictions and quarantine for some time.
Vaccine record card
People getting vaccines from Britain will be given a “vaccine record card”. This card will have all the details about the patient’s vaccine and will also carry the date of their appointment for a second dose.
If all people get vaccinated at the same time and with vaccines that produce similar outcomes, it would be easier to open up all the borders.
There are concerns about the Russian and Chinese vaccines about their data transparency and efficacy. Developers of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine announced that there was an efficacy rate of 92 percent of their candidates. It is based on an interim analysis of 20 cases of COVID-19 from 16,000 volunteers in phase 3 trials.
There are many countries that are re-opening their borders. The countries need to be very confident that they are effectively mitigating the risk of importing COVID-19. From this, it is understood that they should have accurate information on passengers’ COVID-19 health status.
The most important thing that is required to give governments the confidence so that they can open their borders is to make the passengers get their tests done. After this, they should also give them an arrangement where they can share their tests and vaccination results. All this should be done in a safe and privacy-protecting manner. Before any passenger enters the country, the passengers should be thoroughly informed about the vaccines and tests that are required prior to travel.
IATA (International Air Transport Association) is launching an IATA Travel Pass. This pass will be a digital platform for passengers.
Now the BIG question is, what are the current challenges to accurate health information:
- Lack of Information: There are many passengers who are confused and lack accurate information. This makes things important for passengers to get and understand the right information.
- Complex Environment: There are different types of tests available, like PCR, LAMP, spectroscope, and antigen. These tests have made a complex and challenging environment for passengers and also for immigration authorities.
- Frauds and Errors: The check-in agents should be made to follow the extensive entry requirement guidance. Apart from this, the authenticity of documents should also be determined as there are many passengers carrying non-standard test documents. This may also lead to errors and fraud.
Systematic testing should be made such that it should support travelers, airlines, laboratories, and governments. Travelers should have accurate information on test requirements. They should be provided with relevant information about the places where they can get tested or vaccinated. Apart from this, they should also be provided relevant information about the methods to convey the test information to concerned authorities and airlines securely. The governments should be able to verify the authenticity of the tests. The laboratories should conduct experiments and issue certificates to passengers. These tests should be recognized by governments. Airlines should also hold the responsibility to provide test-related requirements to passengers and also make sure that the passengers should meet the requirements for travel.
Now the solution is IATA Travel Pass. This pass is a global and standardized solution. It is done to authenticate and validate all countries’ regulations regarding COVID-19 passenger travel requirements. This travel pass by IATA will incorporate four open-sourced and interoperable modules. These can be combined for an end-to-end solution:
|Registry of Health Requirements||Registry of Testing/ Vaccination Centres||LAB APP||Contactless Travel App|
|Enables passengers to find the exact information on vaccine requirements, traveling, and testing for their journey||Allows passengers to find testing labs and centers at their departure location. These labs and testing centers will meet the standards for testing/vaccination requirements of their destination||Enables testing centers and labs which are authorized to send test results or vaccination certificates to passengers securely||It will enable passengers to create a “digital passport” and verify their test/vaccination meets all the regulations. It will also allow passengers to share test or vaccination certificates with authorities to facilitate travel|
|Powered by IATA Timatic||It can be used to manage documents related to travel digitally and seamlessly.
The airlines and travel agents use IATA Timatic for the verification of travel documents requirements of the passengers. There are various Timatic solutions used by the airlines to ensure that the customers are compliant with border control rules and regulations. You will get personalized information delivered by Timatic based on the passenger’s destination, nationality, travel documents, and transit points, etc.
The primary purpose is to make people travel again safely. It is essential to do systematic pre-departure COVID-19 testing as a replacement for quarantine requirements. The IATA travel pass is a solution. If required, it can also be used for other providers and also as an end-to-end solution. This is responsive to the needs of the industry.