Australia could embrace the Travel Pass app to help restart international travel, with the International Air Transport Association – which developed the app – describing its ongoing discussions with the federal government as “encouraging.”
The smartphone-based app, which records both vaccination status as well as the results of Covid tests, has already been adopted by dozens of airlines including Qantas, which plans to have the app integrated into its systems by October ahead of a December restart for international flights.
Joyce has said the Travel Pass will become “part of the checkin process to ensure we are compliant with countries that have that as a requirement, and also our own requirements for people to travel.”
Singapore has also selected the Travel Pass app for use at its international borders as the city-state cautiously reopens to selected countries.
The federal government will reportedly begin issuing ‘international Covid-19 vaccination certificates’ from October as part of a push to establish international travel bubbles, which would rely not only on proof of vaccination but mutual recognition of vaccines, as not all countries have approved or issued the same shots.
IATA describes the Travel Pass as a ‘digital health’ app which connects passengers, airlines, governments and accredited labs conducting verified Covid testing.
“We have been and continue to engage the Australian Government, in particular the Australian Border Force, on efforts to restart international travel, including on the IATA Travel Pass,” said IATA’s Albert Tjoeng told Executive Traveller.
“The discussions continue to be encouraging.”
Tjoeng described the Travel Pass as “a tool that the Australian government can use when it restarts international travel where testing or vaccination is a requirement for entry.”
“It gives governments confidence in a traveller’s declared Covid-19 status, be it testing or vaccination, as paper certificates are vulnerable to fraud.”
“Being able to verify travel health credentials digitally will enhance the efficiency of airlines, airports, and immigration authorities in processing large numbers of passengers when travel demand picks up from the current low numbers.”
“Singapore accepts the IATA Travel Pass for entry at immigration control, and we hope the Australian government would also consider doing so.”