The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on the European Union to support the idea of a single digital European certificate.
It is referring to the so-called COVID passport, which, frankly, is being somewhat intrusively introduced, especially in the tourism sector.
According to IATA, the COVID passport would allow people to travel freely around Europe without the need for PCR testing.
The initiative was put forward by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and it provoked much discussion. Spain, for example, supported this idea.
The question: what will this digital certificate imply, under what conditions will it remove at least to some extent travel restrictions?
We believe that it is a question of general vaccine certification. In other words, it will remove the burden of tests and mandatory quarantine from vaccinated citizens. Even if it is still veiled.
And then there is question № 2, no less important: Will Europe recognise a COVID passport issued in one of the non-EU countries? Specifically Russia or China?
At the same time, the World Health Organisation has opposed the requirement of compulsory vaccination for international travel. Mitsotakis and a number of European officials claim to hold the same position. But there are those who think otherwise.
A videoconference of EU heads of state is scheduled for Thursday, 21 January, to discuss the response to the spread of the virus. Mizotakis’ proposal to introduce a single European COVID passports is on the agenda.
The product has in fact already been created and there is little left to be done: its recognition by European countries. IATA calls on the members of the European Union to consolidate and take a common decision.
IATA has developed and promotes its own mobile app called its IATA Travel Pass. It does, however, have information modules on both vaccinations and tests completed. Two airlines, Emirates and Etihad Airways, have announced that they will start using this digital pass shortly.
We’ll soon have more details on what the COVID passport is all about, the appearance of which we will apparently see everywhere soon.