The future of flying during the coronavirus means carrying a passport to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
The International Air Transport Association is in the process of finalizing a digital COVID-19 passport that would include information about a traveler’s COVID-19 testing and vaccinations that would be verified by labs, airlines and government agencies, according to a new report.
“Testing is the first key to enable international travel without quarantine measures. The second key is the global information infrastructure needed to securely manage, share and verify test data matched with traveler identities in compliance with border control requirements," CEO of IATA Alexandre de Juniac said in a statement, explaining: "We are bringing this to market in the coming months to also meet the needs of the various travel bubbles and public health corridors that are starting operation."
The Hill was first to report news that the digital COVID-19 passport is in development.
The COVID-19 passport would provide a health itinerary of sorts that would identify testing facilities and labs for passengers at their place of departure, and ensure passengers are safe and able to travel to their destination without restrictions such as quarantine.
No governments have enforced a requirement for travelers to get vaccinated before entering another country. However, the CEO of Australian airline Qantas has stated his intentions for the carrier to require vaccinations ahead of international travel.
“We are looking at changing our terms and conditions to say for international travelers that we will ask people to have a vaccination before they can get on the aircraft,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said.
Spokespersons for both Korean Air and Air New Zealand have said that the airlines may ultimately require passengers to get vaccinated in order to fly.
Meanwhile, millions of Americans traveled during the Thanksgiving holiday, despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warning against visiting relatives and friends. White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx on Sunday voiced her concern about an increase in COVID-19 cases following holiday travel and went on to advise Americans to get tested following holiday gatherings.