Singapore Airlines begin trials for ‘digital health passports’
Singapore Airlines have announced they have begun trials for a new digital health verification process – the first in the world to follow the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Travel Pass framework.
The new process uses digital verification and will allow customers to securely store their health information and present any results or vaccination certificates related to COVID-19.
The service began its trial on the 23rd December to customers travelling on Singapore Airlines flights from Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. Customers who take their COVID-19 tests at selected clinics in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur will be given either digital or paper health certificates with a QR code, which the airline is able to access to view their ‘status’ and results of their tests.
Airport check-in staff and Singapore’s immigration authority will be able to verify the authenticity of these certificates via a secure mobile app and ensure that the customers meet Singapore’s entry requirements.
Customers without a digital certificate can also present the paper version for manual verification.
This method is designed to both be more secure for the passengers as well as helping speed up airport check in and immigration.
According to JoAnn Tan, Acting Senior Vice President Marketing Planning for Singapore Airlines:
“COVID-19 tests and vaccinations will be an integral part of air travel for the foreseeable future. We are offering a digital solution that allows the easy and secure verification of this information, and supports the industry’s safe and calibrated recovery from this pandemic.”
The modular Travel Pass solution aims to allow travellers to easily and securely manage their travel in line with national requirements for COVID-19 testing and vaccine information. IATA’s Timatic registry will provide all the necessary back-end information on the COVID-19 testing and entry requirements.
Singapore Airlines have announce that they will be integrating the entire process into the SingaporeAir mobile app from around mid-2021, again using the Travel Pass framework.
Other airlines have began discussions on implementing something similar, with some saying they will refuse un-vaccinated passengers entirely.
More countries removed from travel corridor list or banned & test to release limited
Yesterday’s travel corridor announcement was pretty disheartening although since none of us can go any way, right now it does not matter! I suspect this is due to the concerns around the South Africa COVID variant which looks like it has spread to other nearby countries.
Botswana, Israel (and Jerusalem), Mauritius, and Seychelles will be removed from the exempt list at 4am Saturday 9 January.
Travel has been banned from The Seychelles, Mauritius, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola, Eswatini to the UK – entry is now banned to anyone who has travelled through in the last 10 days except British nationals. This is for an initial period of two weeks. The Government on 23 December banned entry for travellers who had been to, or transited through, South Africa in the previous ten days. All flights from South Africa are banned indefinitely. This has left a number of UK travellers stranded trying to get home.
Botswana, Seychelles, Mauritius arrivals can not use Test To Release allowed for anyone entering from these countries including British nationals.