Qantas, Australia, Air New Zealand, New Zealand, Vaccine Pass, Immunity Passport

Qantas, Australia

Air New Zealand Will Trial Vaccine Passport System On Flights To Australia

Air New Zealand will trial vaccine passport system on flights to Australia

2/23/2021 6:15:00 AM

Air New Zealand will trial vaccine pass port system on flights to Australia

The three week trial will not be mandatory and is likely to use Covid-19 test results as a substitute for vaccination records.

ToplineAir New Zealand will ask its passengers to use a digital health pass on flights to Australia as a trial run for a future digital “vaccine passport” that travellers will use to confirm that they have been immunized against Covid-19, offering a possible glimpse into international travel in the post-pandemic world.

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Air New Zealand flight number NZ103 from Auckland lands at Sydney's Kingsford Smith International... [+]Getty ImagesKey FactsThe airline announced Monday that the trial will use the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA’s) Travel Pass app on its Auckland-Sydney flights for three weeks in April.

The app—designed by the airline industry trade body IATA—will give passengers information about what tests and vaccines they need to enter their destination and it will also be able to receive verified test results or vaccination certificates directly from participating health providers.

Use of the app won’t be mandatory during the trial and will likely only be used to show Covid-19 test results, theSydney Morning Heraldreported.Air New Zealand will be the first airline to use IATA’s app, but others like Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways and British Airways have all said they plan to use it in the future.

Australia started its Covid-19 vaccination program on Monday and New Zealand started its roll out just a few days ago as both countries have managed to keep the outbreak under control through lockdowns, quarantines and contact tracing.Key BackgroundWhile Covid-19 vaccines are not required for international travel at the moment, that could be the case in the near future. In November, Australia’s flag carrier Qantas became the first major airline to state that it

will requireinternational passengers to prove that they have received a Covid-19 vaccine as a condition for travelling. While other airlines haven’t outlined their vaccine policies, many now require passengers to show a Covid-19 negative test that is less than 72 hours old. However, vaccine requirements are unlikely to be put in place by airlines anytime soon as many countries are just beginning to roll out their vaccines.

Chief CriticCritics of vaccines travel passes have expressed concern over privacy and the discriminatory impact of such a system due to the unequal rollout of vaccines. Raman Jit Singh Chima, Asia policy director at digital rights non-profit Access Now

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toldReuters: “The use of digital certificates for travel is concerning — it has implications for human rights, and it limits access to travel. Any vaccine certificate needs to be carefully regulated, with a clearly defined and narrow purpose of checking if someone has received the vaccine. It should not be used to limit people from travel, livelihoods or societal participation.”

Read more: Forbes »

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