A passenger stands in an almost empty check-in area at Gatwick Airport

A passenger stands in an almost empty check-in area at Gatwick Airport, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Crawley in this file photo.

01-12-2020PETER NICHOLLS

With the tourist industry, in particular airlines, desperate to try and resume operations as soon as possible, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has lent its support for calls for a passport Covid stamp to demonstrate vaccination against the virus.

Inoculated

Vaccine stamps’, as they have been called, in passports could be provided to British travellers who have been inoculated against Covid-19.

Tourists would then avoid being held up at borders if the international travel industry starts to pick up in the middle of next year as the pandemic subsides.

The stamps are apparently being considered by ministers at the Department for Transport as a method to boost the aviation industry by giving a degree of certainty to travellers planning overseas holidays next summer.

“At present, the WHO issues the Carte Jaune - Yellow Card to show that vaccinations against certain communicable diseases, such as the Yellow Fever virus, have been administered and the travel industry believes a similar fast track protocol could be developed for travellers.

IATA is in the latter stages of preparing a digital travel pass that would function as a way of guaranteeing the Covid-19 status of passengers.

The solution is being developed in conjunction with British Airways owner International Airlines Group.

Government

The first cross-border Iata Travel Pass pilot is due by the end of the year with a launch planned for the first quarter of 2021 while the British government is said to be “looking at all possible measures” including the vaccine stamp on passports. First this first though, and that is to get the vaccine circulating.

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