Who’s behind the digital vaccine passport in your country?
- A vaccine passport is considered as the new golden ticket as the world gradually reopens
- As governments dither, companies around Asia and other regions get to work
- There is currently no international or national coordination on the best practices for implementing cross-border vaccine passes
Given that businesses have suffered a yearlong battering from the pandemic, many are now viewing vaccine passes as a potential route to salvation. Some of the biggest tech firms and healthcare organizations have joined together to help facilitate that return to “normal” – ensuring that citizens have access to a secure, digital record of their Covid-19 vaccination status, like a digital vaccine passport.
For starters, airlines are supporting a number of tech solutions to verify passengers’ Covid vaccination or testing results, and these include the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Pass app, the AOKpass from French travel-security company International SOS, and the CommonPass, which is being co-developed by a Swiss nonprofit and the World Economic Forum.
Besides that, several companies and technology groups have begun developing smartphone apps or systems for individuals to upload details of their Covid-19 tests and vaccinations, creating digital credentials that could be shown in order to enter concert venues, stadiums, movie theaters, offices, or even countries.
Notably, there is currently no international or national coordination on the best practices for implementing vaccine passes, so groups including the airline industry and a coalition of tech and health giants are all working on their own systems.
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has collaborated with International SOS and the SGS Group to create this digital, secure, and portable copy of medical records. Successful trials took place on flights last year between Abu Dhabi and Pakistan.
Since then, several airlines have started to use the technology: including Alitalia for lights from Rome to New York, passengers traveling to Singapore from Indonesia and Malaysia can use the pass to show their Covid-19 test results at dedicated immigration lanes at Changi airport. Etihad will pilot the digital health passport on routes between Paris and Abu Dhabi, and few others around Europe.
The Commons Project has partnered with the World Economic Forum to launch this digital health pass. The first trials were completed in October with Cathay Pacific between Hong Kong and Singapore, and United Airlines between London and New York. Since then, carriers including ANA, Jetblue, Lufthansa, Swiss, and Virgin Atlantic have trialed the technology. Cathay Pacific recently carried out another trial on a flight from Hong Kong to Los Angeles, and Japan Airlines is trialing the Common Pass platform on selected flights from Japan to Honolulu and Singapore.
IATA Travel Pass
The world’s biggest airline association has developed an app that will mean you can have testing, vaccine, and policy information all in one place. It is currently in trial stages but could provide a route to a less complicated route to travel as the world comes back from the pandemic. Twenty airlines have currently said they intend to trial the pass. This includes industry players such as Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, Malaysia, and Qantas.
Malaysia’s Air Asia has developed this digital health pass in partnership with analytics company GrayMatter, and the technology has already launched on routes from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, Surabaya, and Jakarta.
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