Your iPhone is becoming your COVID-19 passport
Apple seems to be working with health authorities, airlines and other stakeholders on a project to create/support some form of digital COVID-19 travel pass.
Have iPhone, may travel
The pass is to be launched on the Apple platform and is currently being tested, it claims. All data is encrypted and stored on your iPhone.
IATA has developed IATA Travel Pass to manage health credentials, protect against fraud and enable a convenient travel process. It is being trialled by a number of airlines and airports around the world and was recently used on a Singapore to London flight.
InFebruary the EU commission confirmed Apple was already working with the WHO to offer vaccine passport solutions. Apple also recently added COVID-19 airport guidelines to Maps, so travellers can assess destination mask, vaccination and other requirements before they visit.
“The recovery of air travel will rely on passenger confidence in the industry’s focus on their health and welfare,” said ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira.
“Having this information displayed in Apple Maps will help to make this crucial data much more broadly accessible to passengers. This will help passengers to plan their journeys and be reassured that their health and safety remains a priority for the industry as we all work towards a sustained return to operations and global connectivity. Collaboration remains key to a globally coordinated recovery and we are grateful to our members for the partnership we have forged to deliver this important tool that will contribute to the rebuilding of passenger confidence in air travel.”
The IOTA Passport Plus
The idea is that once global standards to record digital vaccines credentials have been developed, the app can be used by travellers to manage their proof of immunization.
The app will carry health requirements for destination nations, direct passengers to relevant testing centres, act as a point of contact for lab test results, and act as a digital passport, combining COVID-19 tests, vaccination certificates, passports and relevant travel documentation.
- Create a secure digital version of their passport on their mobile device
- Input their flight details to learn of travel restrictions and requirements
- Receive verified test results and a confirmation that they meet all travel requirements.
It simply makes sense, eventually, for an Apple Watch to become your passport, carrying this information.
“The main priority is to get people traveling again safely. In the immediate term that means establishing confidence in governments that systematic pre-departure COVID-19 testing can work as a replacement for quarantine requirements. And that will eventually develop into a vaccine program,” IOTA said.
‘When international travel reopens testing is likely to remain part of the strategy for controlling COVID. The type of testing regime chosen will make the difference in how quickly the travel industry recovers. The choice of a rapid test would be a real boost to the global travel and international business community, and our research shows it can be as effective as other testing regimes and as effective as a ten-day quarantine,’ said Michele Granatstein, Partner at Oxera and Head of its Aviation Practice.
Virgin Atlantic will trial the IATA app on its London to Barbados route from April 16.