Last week in our 2021 business travel predictions we mentioned that we expect to see COVID testing requirements for travelers continue along with providing proof of COVID vaccinations moving forward. But we skipped over something that could prove significant to the return of international travel: digital vaccine - or health - passports.
Mainly intended for international travel, COVID vaccine passports would allow travelers to prove that they’ve received a negative COVID test from a certified partner lab and, eventually, a COVID vaccination. Many countries already require a negative COVID test for entry and it’s expected that some countries will eventually require proof of vaccination too.
We haven’t heard anything about domestic travelers needing to prove their status with a vaccine passport yet, but if we do you’ll see it first in the AmTrav COVID Resource Center!
The pioneer in the vaccine passport game is an app called “Common Pass,” which is already being tested by United Airlines and Cathay Pacific flights between New York, London, Hong Kong and Singapore. Common Pass functions as a scannable QR code that holds traveler data - like test data and vaccination documentation - and touts itself as the solution for the privacy-concerned. They describe a four step process: travelers get tested or vaccinated at partner labs, the lab uploads results to the CommonPass network, the CommonPass results can be verified before the traveler boards and/or once the customer arrives in the international destination.
Other health passport apps are also being built, including one from IATA (International Air Transport Association), whose IATA Travel Pass is slated to be available in early 2021.
We’re watching these developments along with you. While we don’t have many travelers traveling internationally right now, we’re looking forward to helping them get back on the road to continue building their businesses, inside the U.S. and across the globe.