DOT eyes adoption of IATA's digital travel pass for COVID-19

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 07 2021 05:41 PM

A limited number of passengers pass through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Pasay City on December 22, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The Department of Tourism said Wednesday it was considering the adoption of a COVID-19 digital travel pass as requirement for passengers visiting the country to adhere with global travel standards.

Globally, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) developed a digital travel pass in preparation for when normal international travel resumes, the DOT said in a statement.

The travel pass developed by IATA, offers a "standardized solution" which will enable authentication of different country regulations on COVID-19 passenger travel requirements, the DOT said.

“This move is parallel with the steps undertaken by other countries that have successfully relaxed borders to visitors amid the COVID-19 pandemic”, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

"Albeit on its testing stage, the IATA Travel Pass, which offers safe and convenient travel, has so far been helpful to airlines that have adopted it for trial," she added.

Singapore Airlines has tested IATA's digital travel pass as well as the over 20 carriers worldwide including Emirates, Qatar Airways and Malaysia airlines.

The DOT said IATA's travel pass has 4 open-source and interoperable modules which are:

  • A Travel Pass App that will enable passengers to create a digital passport, verify their tests or vaccinations with regulatory authorities, and submit requirements such as test results or vaccination certificates to facilitate travel; 
  • A Registry of Health Requirements where passengers can get information on travel, testing, and vaccination requirements; 
  • A Registry of Testing/Vaccination Centers which enables passengers to find COVID-19 testing centers and laboratories at their departure or arrival locations; and
  • A Lab App that will allow authorized COVID-19 testing centers and laboratories to securely send test results or vaccination certificates to passengers. 

Once the adoption is in place, the DOT "hopes to safely reopen" tourist destinations to international visitors, Puyat said.

Global association IATA consists of 290 airlines or 82 percent of the world's total commercial air traffic including Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines.

-- with a report from Reuters

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