Despite restrictions increasing, there is cause for optimism, writes Hannah Boland.
Vaccine passports, hailed as a ticket to freedom, could eventually open up travel once again for the masses – and they are gaining global acceptance.
Right now, “every airline is looking at this,” says Alan Murray Hayden, from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). “The thing is, they know that they can’t [check every passenger] manually. We have to have a way of actually automating the checking of both the vaccine and the test results, or our industry won’t start flying again.”
Already, carriers such as Qantas, Emirates, Etihad and American Airlines have unveiled their own plans. United Airlines, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic, Swiss International Air Lines and JetBlue have said they will be adopting “CommonPass” digital health-passports for testing information, which are expected to eventually include vaccination status.
The aim is to ultimately “give all governments the confidence to re-open borders to travellers based on verified vaccine and testing data,” says IATA.