NEWS: Will Biden reverse opening of US borders? IATA “passport” app for vaccines & tests becomes reality

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An interesting moral debate is the likely rise of vaccine tourism. Have a read about it here:

Vaccine Vacations – Getting A Private Covid-19 Shot Abroad

With the whole world trying to get their hands on a limited supply of vaccinations, one of the most frequently asked questions is, “how do I get a Covid-19 vaccination privately in the U.K.?” The answer is you can’t. The U.K.

 

Will Biden reverse the opening of US borders?

Late last night there was a glimmer of hope for future travel, when it appeared that Trump would remove the ban on travellers from UK, EU and Brazil. Those from China and Iran would still be banned.

Before I get the kind of comments I had on social media, I’m not suggesting anyone gets on a plane now! It’s getting so bad with travel shaming that you can’t write any sort of potentially good news without people feeling the need to virtue signal about not travelling or act like you are encouraging everyone to jump on the plane to Florida tomorrow, lick as many doorknobs as possible and then fly back! At some point, whenever that is, we will travel again safely. So for me, anything that is a step towards that day is good news. 

One of the issues with Trump’s ban was that it was historical and did not necessarily at any point get reviewed to see if it needed more countries adding or some being removed. Plus, since American citizens, their family and various visa holders can still enter without testing until 26 January from most countries, it is not really that effective.

Yesterday Trump announced that he would remove the restrictions on those that have been in the UK, EU or Brazil in the last 14 days which prevent most people entering the US from 26 January, when mandatory testing for entry into the US is introduced worldwide.

Biden’s team were quick to say that they were not in favour of the move. Biden’s spokesperson Jen Psaki said 

 

Etihad Airways is one of the first airlines globally to launch IATA Travel Pass

Etihad Airways is one of the first airlines globally to launch IATA Travel Pass

The International Air Transport Association and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, today announced a partnership to launch the IATA Travel Pass for Etihad Airways’ guests. The IATA Travel Pass is a mobile app to help passengers easily and securely manage their travel in line with government requirements for COVID-19 tests or vaccines. Singapore Airlines has also been working with IATA to trial the concept. This concept is desperately overdue. It’s far too easy to forge vaccination or test results, plus as some Britons stranded abroad found out, it is also very easy for airline staff to be confused as to what tests are accepted from the paperwork travellers are given. Over the last two days, U.K. citizens have been denied boarding for not having the correct COVID test even though they complied with the specifications of the government which are very hard to check either way. 

IATA Travel Pass will initially be offered to Etihad’s guests on selected flights from Abu Dhabi in the first quarter of 2021. If successful, the pass will be extended to other destinations on the Etihad network.

The IATA Travel Pass will enable Etihad’s guests to create a ‘digital passport’ to receive COVID test results and verify they are eligible to undertake their journey. Importantly, IATA Travel Pass will keep passengers in control of their data and facilitate the sharing of their test with airlines and authorities for travel. It will also make it convenient for passengers to manage travel documentation throughout their journey.

“COVID-19 tests and vaccinations will be key to get the world flying again. Since 1 August 2020, Etihad is the only airline requiring a pre-departure negative PCR test result for all passengers worldwide, and again on arrival in Abu Dhabi, giving our guests the added assurance of safety when they travel with us. A high priority for Etihad is for our guests to have an easy, secure and efficient way to identify and verify their information. Being one of the first airlines globally working with IATA as a pioneer partner on the IATA Travel Pass is a big step forward for Etihad’s guests and for the industry,” said Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer, Etihad Aviation Group.

Etihad has been actively exploring the roll out of digital health certification for its guests, and this latest partnership with IATA, alongside similar programmes the airline has in development, shows the technology is advancing quickly to make it a reality. To standardise the way in which passenger wellness can be assured during the COVID-19 pandemic, at an industry level, Etihad is actively campaigning for collaboration and a united regulatory response to restore confidence in flying.

“The Etihad Airways partnership to launch the IATA Travel Pass is an important milestone on the road to meaningfully restarting international travel. Our aim is to give all governments the confidence to re-open borders to travellers based on verified vaccine and testing data. The initial stage of the Etihad launch will focus on all four elements of the IATA Travel Pass modules, one of the first airlines in the world to do so,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President, Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security.

IATA Travel Pass has been developed as four independent modules that can interact with each other. These modules cover registries for regulatory entry requirements and labs/test centers, verified certificate issuance, digital identity and the possibility for passengers to share their tests results along their journey via their mobile device. These modules can work together as one complete end-to-end solution. Or they can be used separately to complement systems that others are building. IATA has developed these modules to ensure they are interoperable with other industry solutions.

 

2 Comments on "NEWS: Will Biden reverse opening of US borders? IATA “passport” app for vaccines & tests becomes reality"

  1. Roger Cormack | 20 January 2021 at 8:57 am |

    The IATA Passport concept is welcome. Not only should it contribute to more, easier, and safer travel during Covid, but it should be a useful game-changer for streamlining and automating the myriad of visas and other immigration controls that create delays at borders.
    Please, however, lose the growing sarcasm in TLFL articles. It’s not professional. Maybe some counselling would help?

  2. Everything happens far too slow. Immunity passports, QR codes, holograms, passport stamps – whatever – should have been discussed and agreed ages ago. With current action I am not sure if there is any sense to plan any trip even in 2022.

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