Photo supplied by IATA
The International Air Transport Association has urged countries to make the EU Digital COVID Certificate their global standard for digital vaccine certificates. The IATA has also announced that both the EU certificate (DCC) and the UK NHS COVID Pass can now be uploaded to the IATA Travel Pass as verified proof of vaccination for travel.
“The DCC was delivered in record time to help facilitate the reopening of EU states to travel,” said IATA’s deputy director general Conrad Clifford, “ In the absence of a single global standard for digital vaccine certificates, it should serve as a blueprint for other nations looking to implement digital vaccination certificates to help facilitate travel and its associated economic benefits.”
Spain’s 17 regions, including Murcia, have been at the forefront of incorporating the EU certificate into their health systems. According to the Spanish government, more than 21 million certificates have been issued, comprising over 20 million for people who have been vaccinated, and just under one million in total for others who have recovered from COVID-19 or have a negative test result.
The government has also just announced that 32 million people are now fully vaccinated, which represents 67.9 per cent of the population.
Referring to the success of the EU vaccination overall, the IATA said it had been implemented in the 27 EU Member states and several reciprocal agreements had been agreed with other states’ own vaccination certificates, including Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine.
“In the absence of a single global standard for digital vaccination certificates, up to 60 other countries are looking to use the DCC specification for their own certification. The DCC is an excellent model as it is consistent with the latest World Health Organization Guidance and is fully supported by IATA Travel Pass.
“Another benefit of the DCC is that it enables holders to access non-aviation sites in Europe that require proof of vaccination, such as museums, sporting events and concerts.”
As for the IATA’s own Travel Pass, senior vice president for operations safety and security Nick Careen said, “COVID-19 vaccination certificates are becoming a widespread requirement for international travel. Handling the European and UK certificates through IATA Travel Pass is an important step forward, providing convenience for travellers, authenticity for governments and efficiency for airlines.”
This enables travelers holding an EU DCC or UK NHS COVID Pass “to access accurate COVID-19 travel information for their journey, create an electronic version of their passport and import their vaccination certificate in one place. This information can be shared with airlines and border control authorities who can have the assurance that the certificate presented to them is genuine and belongs to the person presenting it.”
Access to Extensive Lab Network
Meanwhile, the IATA also announced this month that it had entered into a partnership with leading European medical diagnostic services provider SYNLAB “to facilitate safe and easy travel”. The agreement incorporate’s SYNLAB’s extensive lab network into IATA Travel Pass, thus enabling airline passengers to access SYNLAB’s broad and secure COVID-19 testing services, and benefit from its international capabilities.
“We are pleased to partner with IATA to make travelling as safe as possible,” said SYNLAB CEO Mathieu Floreani. “At a time when people around the world are resuming air travel and different variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are spreading, testing remains crucial. Testing is a central pillar in monitoring and controlling the pandemic to prevent the spread of the virus. As the market leader in Europe for PCR testing, we have conducted 18 million PCR tests since the outbreak of the pandemic, underlining our strong expertise in this incredibly relevant field.”
Added Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general, “Verified COVID-19 testing is critical to restore the freedom to travel for people who are not vaccinated. IATA Travel Pass aims to make it as simple as possible for travellers to locate certified labs and securely receive the test results that governments require for entry. Adding SYNLAB’s extensive lab network will help travellers more easily ensure that they meet their COVID-19 travel requirements.”
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