Everything You Need to Know About Digital Health Passports
Updated: Apr 1, 2021
As the world distributes the COVID-19 vaccines, the destinations are looking for methods to eliminate the need for quarantine upon arrival. Industry leaders plan to issue Digital Health Passports conveniently allow vaccinated travelers to cross borders. Some health passports are in the early days of testing in several countries and airlines. For instance, many are testing the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Pass, while others currently develop their applications. However, the passport comes with concerns about ensuring a viable process that protects user information. So I am going to reveal everything you need to know about them.
What Are Digital Health Passports?
Digital Health Passports are apps downloaded to verify and guide users looking to travel. They confirm travelers' PCR and vaccination status via a QR code. Travel experts hope to increase those app's capacity and for airlines, offices, and concert venues to integrate the system. Airlines and border control will use those apps to verify traveler's status concerning COVID-19. Many already require proof of negative PCR tests before take-off. Most digital passports are still in the pilot stages.
What Passports Are in Development?
Several apps are launching, including The IATA Travel Pass, CommonPass, and Daon's VeriFLY. However, there are still some questions about the mandatory use of these sorts of apps.
The IATA Travel Pass announced its launch in early March and is in the testing phase with 30 airline carriers; World Economic Forum backs CommonPass. They have partnered with a distribution system for air travel. More digital health passports are currently testing through airline and country partnerships; several countries are launching their applications. For instance, China and the European Union have also announced that digital passport use is rising.
It is still too early to confirm the success of digital health passports because:
Apps are still in the testing phase.
We lack a unified software for health certification, which makes standardization across borders difficult.
The integration of verified health providers and labs is still in infancy.
What Countries Are Currently Using Passports?
Several countries have announced they will remove quarantine restrictions for vaccinated travelers. Those countries include Aruba, Estonia, Cyprus, Georgia, Iceland, Poland, Romania, Seychelles, Thailand, and the USA. If the passport rollout goes well, I expect more nations to adopt digital health passports.
There is no way to know at this point in time if digital health passports will become the norm, but you should be aware that it is a possibility. Travel post-COVID-19 is constantly evolving. As soon as I write a blog, things change, so be sure to check both airline and destination travel requirements before heading on your trip!