Travel pass

COVID-19 passport: all the health “passports” you need to know

A visitor uses CovPass, Germany’s new vaccination passport smartphone app, to scan a QR code after being vaccinated at a COVID-19 vaccination center in the Erika-Hess ice rink stadium in Berlin, Germany , Friday June 11, 2021.
Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: With the COVID-19 pandemic, one industry affected almost immediately, and continuously since was travel and tourism. As several countries battle waves of COVID-19 with ever-increasing vaccination rates, governments and airlines believe health “passports” may be the way forward to boost trade and tourism.

A health passport or travel “pass” is designed to contain the traveler’s health data – specifically their COVID-19 health data which could include the results of past rapid PCR tests, details of COVID-19 recovery , immunization details and / or current immunization status. A “vaccination passport”, however, is limited to people who have been fully vaccinated and only stores vaccination information.

Which are currently working?

IATA Travel Pass – Global Airlines

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has introduced a travel pass that can be used if you are traveling on participating airlines. The IATA Travel Pass is a mobile app that helps travelers store and manage their verified certifications for COVID-19 testing.

IATA chief executive Willie Walsh said Gulf airlines will use the IATA Travel Pass in the coming weeks.

The app has four elements: health requirements based on the travel destination, a test center record at arrival or departure locations, the ability to allow authorized laboratories to send test results through the app and a full digital passport that allows storage and sharing of relevant data.

IATA Travel Pass, is applicable worldwide, if the airline you are traveling with is the one using the pass, which is being tested from now on.

IATA travel card

IATA travel card screen (example)
Image Credit: Press Kit / IATA International Air Transport Association

Emirates announced this week that it is increasing its IATA Travel Pass capacity on its flights to Barcelona, ​​Moscow, Istanbul, New York JFK, Madrid and London Heathrow with plans to expand all of its flights by July, in addition to offering clients traveling from Dubai paperless verification of medical records related to COVID-19 through its partnership with the Dubai Health Authority.

As for Etihad, you can use the IATA Travel Pass app on routes departing from Abu Dhabi to North America until June 15, 2021. In addition to that, Etihad offers a free PCR test at designated laboratories. in case the passenger participates in the test. of the IATA transport ticket. This is valid for travel until June 30, the airline said on its website.

EUDCC – European Union

Wednesday, the European Union [EU] approved the use of a new travel certificate that will allow people to move between European countries without having to quarantine themselves or undergo additional coronavirus tests. The certificate, previously known as the Digital Green Certificate, is now known as the EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC).

Greece has led the campaign to have the certificate, which will have both paper and digital forms. It is hoped that this pass will help revive summer travel and boost the travel industry in Europe.

From July 1, for 12 months, all EU countries must recognize the certificate. They will be issued free of charge and will certify that a person has been fully vaccinated against the virus, has recently tested negative, or has recovered from the disease. The rules will not be heavily enforced for 6 weeks to allow countries to prepare.

Infographic: EU Covid digital pass goes live

Image Credit: Seyyed Llata ​​/ Gulf News | Graphic news

Several EU countries have already started using the system, including Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece and Poland. The laissez-passer will be issued by individual nations, not by a centralized European system.

The passes would contain a QR code with advanced security features. Personal data will not be shared with other countries.

Excelsior Pass – New York

New York authorities introduced the Excelsior Pass application as the country’s first vaccine passport issued by the government. Holders would get a QR code that would not only verify their vaccination status, but could also include other personal information such as proof of age, driver’s license and other health records.

The current scope is limited, as it mainly contains information on vaccines and recent information on COVID-19 testing for people who have had vaccines or tests in New York State, although New Yorkers can ask their doctors to add out-of-state vaccinations to the registry.

Common Pass – The common project and the World Economic Forum

The Common Pass is also an app-based system that promises the ability to store, verify data and share entry requirements related to COVID-19 without revealing personal health information. From now on, the app requires an invite code to be used in limited destinations.

In addition to serving as a platform to share immunization and / or test details, the app also verifies that the source of the test results is from a verified source and that those results meet the health requirements of the destination. If the conditions are met, the app issues travelers with a “Yes” or “No” certificate that can be used to enter without revealing any private health data.

The pass is operated by The Common Project and is supported by the World Economic Forum, but not under any government. The pass is used in a few countries, including the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Germany and the United States of America. Several airlines have also tested the pass, including Qantas, Lufthansa, Swiss Air Lines, etc.

Pass AOK – International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

Supported by International SOS and SGS Group, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) AOK Pass is another digital tool created to enable easy sharing of health data to boost travel and commerce.

The app is used to share the results of COVID tests by accredited laboratories, in the form of a digital pass for the traveler. The pass can be presented to the authorities and the data can be scanned via a QR code. The pass does not collect or store additional health information.

AOK Pass

AOK by ICC Pass: The pass can be presented to the authorities and the data can be scanned via a QR code.
Image credit: Media library / https: //

AOK Pass, according to the ICC, is a taxi used for travel, on trade routes, and for events. The ICC also claims that the app is scalable to become a vaccine passport if needed.

CovPass – Germany

Germany’s CovPass initiative, launched on Friday, is a passport or vaccination certificate that is available free of charge to people who are fully vaccinated. The pass will be issued from June 14 (Monday), local media reported.

The list of centers and pharmacies authorized to issue the pass is not yet listed but will be documented on a dedicated website. The certificate will store the vaccination details, date, name and date of birth of the person. The pass may, in the future, store details of COVID-19 recovery and other relevant results.

The vaccination passport should be available for all fully vaccinated Germans by the end of the month, Health Minister Jens Spahn said.

“The aim is that this certificate can also be used in Helsinki, Amsterdam or Mallorca,” Spahn told reporters in Berlin. People who have been fully vaccinated will either receive a letter with a QR code that they can scan with their phone, or they can contact their doctor or pharmacy to retroactively obtain the digital pass.

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