Emirates to trial IATA Travel Pass to verify COVID-19 vaccination status, as Seychelles tightens entry requirements

Emirates has become one of the first airlines in the world to trial the new IATA (International Air Transport Association) Travel Pass, a mobile app to help passengers manage travel in line with any government and airline requirements for COVID-19 testing and vaccine information.

Holders will be able to share test and vaccination certificates with authorities and airlines in order to allow travel.

Emirates will test the app for validation of COVID-19 PCR tests before departure, beginning in April. Emirates customers travelling from Dubai will be able to share their COVID-19 test status directly with the airline before reaching the airport.

Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vice President VP, says the IATA pass is the first step in making international travel during the pandemic as convenient as possible. “As borders reopen, IATA Travel Pass will be further enhanced with more capabilities to meet all governments testing or vaccination verification requirements and Emirates customers will be among the first to have these services.”

The app depends on data held on a global registry, managed by IATA, to work. It’s unclear how widespread international support and interoperability will be.

Emirates will test the app for validation of COVID-19 PCR tests before departure, beginning in April…

Tougher entry requirements for those that want to enjoy this view

The EU appears to be backing the idea of a common vaccine passport to allow travel across the bloc. EU commission vice-president Margaritis Schinas describes such a vaccine passport as “perfectly imaginable.”  

The UK says it is not looking to introduce vaccine passports, a move which could limit the number of destinations open to British tourists in the future. However a biometric UK vaccine passport trial is underway, using an app developed by iProov and Mvine.   

Popular holiday destinations are already insisting on proof of vaccination. The Seychelles has announced new entry requirements as part of the restart of its tourism activities for 2021 and beyond. The new measures will run alongside an immunisation campaign which expects to have just under three quarters of the local adult population vaccinated by mid-March 2021. 

To be recognized as vaccinated, visitors to the Seychelles must be able to show that they have taken the complete 2-dose course of an approved vaccine, by submitting an authentic certificate from their national health authority, alongside a negative COVID-19 PCR certificate, obtained less than 72 hours prior to travel. 

Unvaccinated visitors, including private jet passengers, will now need to show a negative PCR test obtained less than 72 hours prior to travel.  

Once the majority of the adult population in Seychelles is vaccinated, the country will open up to all visitors, vaccinated or not. Visitors will still need a negative PCR obtained less than 72 hours prior to travel.

Saga Cruises has announced that vaccination will be a mandatory requirement in order to board. All guests will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID‑19 at least 14 days before sailing.

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About Steve May

Creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, Steve muses and reviews for Trusted Reviews, T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice, Ideal Home, The Luxe Review, Channel News and the i newspaper. He’s also the editor of professional home cinema website Inside CI, and contributor to industry trade magazine ERT. He's on Twitter and Instagram as @SteveMay_UK

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