In February, Qantas completed a trial run of the CommonPass Digital Health app on an international repatriation flight from Frankfurt to Darwin. Through the use of this app, health or border officials and airline staff will be able to easily verify COVID-19 test results and vaccination history of an individual.
The app links customers with certified testing labs to allow their results to be automatically uploaded onto it. In accordance with stipulations made by the federal government, customers would have to first show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result to board repatriation flights on Qantas.
Stephanie Tully, Qantas Group’s Chief Customer Officer said, “We want to get our international flights back in the air and our people back to work, and a digital health pass will be a key part of that.”
WHY IT MATTERS
As mass vaccination programmes are being rolled out globally, vaccine passports have become a major topic of discussion. Countries will need to look at convenient and secure ways for verifying COVID-19 test results and vaccination information at airports and borders. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has also called for a “global standard to securely record digital proof of vaccination”.
THE LARGER TREND
Similar digital solutions are being developed in several other countries around the world to enable travel again. For instance, travellers from Singapore will receive a notarized certificate following a negative COVID-19 test that they can present at airports around the world. Another example is France taking part in a month-long trial of a vaccine passport that leverages a smart phone app.
ON THE RECORD
Tully added, “COVID test results and proof of vaccine will be required in many countries for quarantine-free travel, just as it has been for polio and yellow fever vaccinations in the past. Ultimately, we’re focused on ensuring that the process will be as seamless as possible for our customers to share this information so they can travel internationally again.”
Paul Meyer, CEO of The Commons Project Foundation, shared, “As we initiate the upcoming trials with Qantas, we aim to provide Australians with a secure, private and trusted experience as they return to their home country.”
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