As borders are opening up for travel—albeit as slowly and as carefully as possible—countries would still need to keep a close eye on the spread of COVID-19. And according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), their upcoming travel pass app—a digital platform for passengers flying internationally—might soon help us do that.
“To re-open borders without quarantine and restart aviation governments need to be confident that they are effectively mitigating the risk of importing COVID-19,” wrote IATA on their site, “This means having accurate information on passengers’ COVID-19 health status.”
The app aims to “streamline air travel by digitising and centralising” COVID-19 testing results and vaccinations. This is considered as important as airlines and countries like Malaysia currently require proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken one to three days before arriving in a new country.
The digital pass serves as an international “MySejahtera-style” app, except its where you can add your flight details, documents, health and other information. It also allows you to scan barcodes at health screenings.
You’ll be able to automatically link your passport to the app. The pass will be able to tell you travel information of the countries you’re flying to and allows you to scan barcodes at health screenings.
The IATA governs the vast majority of global air travel with nearly 300 current members, but for now only around 20 of the IATA’s members have announced plans to test out the IATA’s app. The airlines that are trialling the Travel Pass include Malaysia Airlines, Emirates, ANA, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines.
“The most important thing is that it is responsive to industry needs while enabling a competitive market,” said IATA.
The app launching so soon means that it is a good sign for those who can’t wait to travel. It definitely isn’t going to be like normal again, but it is welcomed nonetheless as more people continue to get vaccinated.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin mentioned that there is a “high possibility” for Malaysians to travel freely domestically once they have completed their two-dose COVID-19 vaccination. Currently, interstate travel is still prohibited.
IATA’s travel pass app is expected to launch on April 15 on iOS, and will be available on Android later. According to IATA Vice President Kamil Alawadhi, the app is currently being tested.