International travel is still a bit further down the track. But today, The Qantas Group confirmed it will be introducing a digital health pass for all overseas flights on Qantas and Jetstar. Coming in app form, the new Qantas Digital Health Pass will show border staff and health officials both your vaccine status and your COVID-19 test results from certified testing labs. Now, many countries, including the UK and the US require either proof of vaccine or a negative COVID test result to enter without quarantine and the Health Pass will expedite this process.
— 9News Queensland (@9NewsQueensland) July 29, 2021
Working with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Travel Pass matches a customer’s health information against a specific flight, checks the entry requirements for the country they are travelling to and provides clearance to travel on that flight, to both the customer and airline. Qantas Group also confirmed that the IATA Travel Pass will be implemented across its flagship and Jetstar services.
“A digital health pass will connect customers with COVID testing facilities, health authorities and airlines, and ultimately enable the opening of more travel bubbles and borders,” said Qantas CCO Stephanie Tulley. ” will allow travellers to have their COVID test results and vaccine information verified securely, which will be their green light to fly internationally with us”.
The latest announcement follows the release of the Federal Government’s four-phase national COVID-19 response plan earlier this month. A major component of that plans was validating the vaccination status of Australians returning from overseas. With countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States already announcing requirements of either a proof of vaccine or negative COVID test result to enter without quarantine, Australia appears to be coming to the party.
“A digital solution to manage and verify health credentials is essential for travel while COVID-19 remains a risk. We are delighted that the Qantas Group has decided to progress plans to use IATA Travel Pass as a convenient and secure method for travellers to verify and share their COVID test results and vaccination information with border or health officials and airline staff,” IATA Senior Vice President for Operations, Safety and Security, Nick Careen said.
While there has been some criticism of a ‘vaccine passport’ with some people calling it discriminatory, Qantas is claiming it will be the quickest and easiest pathway to unrestricted international travel. At this stage, the health advice remains stoic – Get vaccinated, eliminate the virus in the community and then, maybe, we’ll be ready for another European summer in 2022.
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