If you read last weeks blog post (which you can find here), you’ll be aware that the new Covid travel measures mean that you’ll need a negative Corona test to travel around the world in 2021. That’s not a big ask given the severity of the virus, but still, it adds an extra layer of hassle and stress to your travel plans. Today we’ll be telling you everything you need to know about the IATA travel pass, a new travel pass being rolled out now to help travel run a little smoother.
What is the IATA Travel Pass?
The IATA travel pass is an app that can be downloaded straight to your phone.
It’s been cleverly designed to house proof of your Covid vaccine or negative test results, and will be trusted internationally as you travel.
This clever app designed by the International Air Travel Association is made up of 4 separate modules: Registry of Health Requirements, Registry of Testing/Vaccination Centers, a Lab app & the Contactless Travel App.
With these 4 modules, passengers will be able to search for accurate information on testing requirements, test centers and travel information. They’ll also allow passengers to find certified labs and test centers to have their vaccines or Covid tests, and then receive their personal certification of safe travel to use at the boarding gates in the form of a digital passport.
As the IATA state themselves on their Travel Pass Initiative Page: ‘To re-open borders without quarantine and restart aviation, governments need to be confident that they are effectively mitigating the risk of importing COVID-19. This means having accurate information on passengers’ COVID-19 health status.’
As it stands, there are currently a number of challenging factors that make travel more difficult. There’s the inefficiency of some ‘quick tests’ that give false negatives. There’s fraudulent behavior that’s seen people faking their negative test results. There’s even a huge variety of Covid tests that can’t necessarily be proved to be accurate.
We still have a long way to go before travel becomes safe again, and the IATA travel pass is a hopeful initiative that could make travel safer, faster, and more trustworthy.
When Will the Travel Pass be Ready to Go?
Plans are to give the green light worldwide later in the year, which means we still have a little it of a wait ahead of us. However, the IATA Travel Pass is currently being tested, and rolled out via Emirates and Etihad.
For now, only one of the 4 modules is being tested with Etihad – the proof of a negative PCR test – this means that this pass will be used on a select few routes leaving Abu Dhabi.
From April, Emirates will get the green light to trial the app on select routes leaving Dubai. By then, the IATA hope that the app will be more functional, and perhaps have even more features to make travel even safer.
If the first phase works well and saves time and trouble, we may be looking at the future of travel being a little closer than we imagine. It’s good news. It means a better handle on the situation. It means trust in travel again.
So, whilst there isn’t too much news right now about the IATA Travel App, there’s plenty of hope that can be gleaned from what’s to come. With the initial stages of testing already underway, we can hope for a positive future that includes plenty of safe traveling for us all. Who knows, maybe that day is closer than we think.