|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.
Informing passengers on what tests, vaccines and other measures they require prior to travel, details on where they can get tested and giving them the ability to share their tests and vaccination results in a verifiable, safe and privacy-protecting manner is the key to giving governments the confidence to open borders. To address this challenge IATA is working on launching the IATA Travel Pass, a digital platform for passengers.
The IATA Travel Pass is global and standardized solution to validate and authenticate all country regulations regarding COVID-19 passenger travel requirements. IATA Travel Pass will incorporate four open sourced and interoperable modules which can be combined for an end-to-end solution: Registry of Health Requirements; Registry of Testing and Vaccination Center; Lab App; and Contactless Travel App.
The main priority is to get people traveling again safely. In the immediate term that means establishing confidence in governments that systematic pre-departure COVID-19 testing can work as a replacement for quarantine requirements. And that will eventually develop into a vaccine program.
The IATA Travel Pass is a solution for both. It is built it in modules as an industry solution based on open source standards. It can be used in combination with other providers or as an end-to-end solution. The most important thing is that it is responsive to industry needs while enabling a competitive market.
But it is not the only solution. A broad coalition of health and technology companies have created the Vaccination Credential Initiative, an effort to give consumers digital access to their vaccination records in a secure, verifiable and privacy-preserving way to support the return to travel, work, school and more. Participants include Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, The Commons Project Foundation, Mayo Clinic and seven others.
This initiative is developing in tandem with other digital passport projects, including the CommonPass from The Commons Project Foundation, in partnership with the World Economic Forum and public and private partners from 37 countries. The CommonPass app, which stores COVID test and vaccination records, is currently being tested by airlines including JetBlue, Lufthansa and United Airlines.
There are also private initiatives like CLEAR, which recently has closed a $100 million funding round to expand beyond its core aviation business.
Recently, CLEAR launched its Health Pass mobile app, which connects CLEAR members’ identities to COVID-related information – including vaccination results – to help reduce public health risk and keep the economy moving. In addition to travel, Health Pass is being used in sports and workplace environments. The technology links and validates an individual’s vaccination credentials and will have access to the majority of healthcare facilities, pharmacies and state-authorized vaccination centers.
More than 35 organizations are currently using Health Pass, including MGM Resorts, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the National Hockey League and nine NBA teams.