Vietnam Airlines officially pilots digital health passport

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Passengers are tested for COVID-19 at Tan Son Nhat airport in early May. (Photo: Huu Khoa/vnexpress)

The expectation of a world which is easier to move around is gradually becoming a reality as the US and Europe have basically achieved mass vaccination and are preparing to fully reopen their economies as soon as this summer.

In Vietnam, the government has had a flexible response to implementing the “dual goals” switching from the defensive to offensive and from “zoning and stamping out the epidemic” as the main method to strengthening the vaccine to creating community immunity. In that context, national flag carrier (Vietnam Airlines) has officially piloted digital Covid-19 health passport, considered a necessary preparation for the upcoming recovery period.

“Key” to opening the border

Vietnam Airlines has said it will coordinate with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to test the digital Covid-19 health passport known as the IATA Travel Pass this June. This can be considered the “key” to open ingthe border, facilitating passengers in their travelling between countries, and meeting all the entry requirements of the authorities and the government at each destination. During the process, several passengers will be selected to download the free mobile app IATA Travel Pass, create personal profiles with their photos and passport information, and fill in their flight details in order to be updated on the health requirements of their destination. Prior to departure, passengers have to register and have a Covid-19 test or vaccination from government-designated facilities that are registered with IATA. After that, they must share their results and confirm their flight status with the airline. The app will help both airlines and authorities check the validity of certificates and easily identify passengers. All information will be secure and only shared when permitted by the passenger. The IATA Travel Pass integrates some leading digital solutions such as contactless travel, biometric data, and electronic health certificates such as COVID-19 test results and vaccination certificates. It is convenient and effective as it will replace the current paper procedures.

This is a secure application, ensuring consistent information exchange between parties including the Government, testing facilities, airlines and passengers. The IATA Travel Pass is a global app that determines each country’s requirements for passengers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring reliable test results as well as a secure and consistent flow of information among the parties. The app can be operated on mobile phones with many features and data such as the epidemiological requirements in the countries, lists of qualified laboratories and a storage of COVID-19 test results and vaccination certifications of the passengers. The app also helps bring this information to governments and airlines to facilitate their inspection and management measures. General Director of Vietnam Airlines Le Hong Ha said that as the pioneer of the IATA Travel Pass in Vietnam, Vietnam Airlines will help realise great step forward for passengers.

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