The imminent launch of Travel Pass reminds us that little by little, but unstoppably, COVID-19 passports are beginning to arrive. Specifically, in this case we are talking about IATA’s chosen coronavirus security solution (International Air Transport Association, International Air Transport Association), the association formed by the main global airlines, to try to protect the health of the passengers of their flights in this new reality of the coronavirus.
After several months of work, Travel Pass was successfully tested in early March on an international flight between Singapore and London and, as a result, the plans of the IATA member airlines are to start using this control system sometime in mid-April, with a progressive implementation model. For now, the first to start applying it will be Virgin Atlantic on the line that connects London with Barbados. Although it is assumed that this deployment will be with the final version, it is understood that in reality this first experience will also be considered a test of the system.
IATA expects the Travel Pass to reach the IOS App Store around April 15, and there is still no target date for the Android version which, in any case, should not be too late. The big question, at this point, is whether IATA will wait for the Travel Pass to be available on both platforms to start using the system or, on the contrary, once the iPhone version is available it will be possible to start using it. The Caribbean island will accept the application at its border, making it one of the first countries to admit a digital pass instead of paper documentation.
The app will allow users store legally recognized COVID-19 test results, as well as the vaccination certificates. It follows, therefore, the same system that we will see in the COVID passport of the European Union, as well as the one used in other solutions such as Excelsior Pass, the system used by the city of New York to be able to receive tourism again, a key point of its economy.
I’m totally in favor of the idea of a COVID passportI think that solutions such as Travel Pass are a key element to avoid, as far as possible, the spread of the pathogen. However, and although I am not surprised, I am disappointed again that human beings are unable to agree. What’s the point of having dozens of types of COVID passports? Wouldn’t it make more sense for an entity, say the UN, to choose a solution and be used globally? Because otherwise, in the end I see that we will end up with as many COVID passports as loyalty cards.
More information: IATA