Friday, April 16, 2021

IATA Travel Pass for travellers?

THE GOVERNMENT said it is considering the use of the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) travel pass as part of the country's preparations for the resumption of international travel amid the pandemic.

 The Philippines is considering the International Air Transport Association travel pass as part of the country's preparations for the resumption of international travel amid the pandemic(Mindanao Examiner Photo)

“This move is parallel with the steps undertaken by other countries that have successfully relaxed borders to visitors amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Although on its testing stage, the IATA Travel Pass, which offers safe and convenient travel, has so far been helpful to airlines that have adapted it for trial,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat said.

The IATA represents a total of 290 airlines or 82 percent of the world's total commercial air traffic and among its members are Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines.

Puyat raised this possibility during a meeting with the IATA and local tourism industry leaders to explore the adaption of the pass for passengers visiting the Philippines as she highlighted Manila's push for the gradual reopening of tourist destinations with health and safety as top priorities.

The IATA Travel Pass is a mobile application that helps people travel with ease while meeting government travel requirements for Covid-19 tests or vaccines. It can be used by users to create a digital passport, verify their tests or vaccinations with regulatory authorities, and submit requirements such as test results or vaccination certificates to facilitate travel.

The initiative also features a “Lab App” that would allow authorized Covid-19 testing centers and laboratories to securely send test results or vaccination certificates to passengers. The DOT, however, did not provide any timeline when the IATA initiative will be adapted in the Philippines.

“Once the country’s adoption of the IATA Travel Pass is put into motion, the DOT hopes to safely reopen our tourist destinations to international visitors and revive the tourism industry as a whole. But this will be done only when the time is right,” Puyat said.

The DOT said over 20 airlines and airline groups have adapted the IATA Travel Pass on a trial basis. (Joyce Ann L. Rocamora)

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