Japan Airlines (JAL) has begun trials with three health credential apps – CommonPass, VeriFLY, and the IATA Travel Pass. The purpose of the health passport trail is to re-open borders without the need to quarantine arriving passengers. This means having reliable and accurate information regarding arriving passenger’s COVID-19 health status.
Being able to inform passengers of what tests, vaccines, and other requirements are needed before travel and the ability to share test results in a safe and privacy-protecting manner is deemed vital in giving governments the confidence to re-open borders. With this in mind, JAL will begin its own independent trials with three industry-leading health apps to standardize digital health checks for passengers on its international flights.
CommonPass for Honalulu and Singapore
JAL will trial the CommonPass app on its Haneda Airport (HND)-Honolulu Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) from April 2, 2021, and on its Narita International Airport- Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) route starting April 5, 2021.
The purpose of the trials is to introduce and expand digital health credential platforms that can display a person’s COVID-19 health status on their mobile phone. By doing this, it will help to achieve a speedy contactless check-in at the airport. In a statement released yesterday, JAL says that it is committed to adopting key safety measures to restore public confidence in air travel.
The different apps
Developed by the World Economic Forum and the Commons Project, the CommonPass validates COVID-19 test results issued by medical institutions, meeting the applicable country’s entry requirements on a digital device.
Developed by biometrics and identity assurance software company Daon, VeriFLY is already being used on select routes between Japan and the United States. With the app, passengers can view/register/manage their own COVID-19 test results before travel. VeriFLY will display passengers ready to fly status for a seamless check-in.
JAL plans to introduce VeriFLY on all its routes to Noth America sometime this month and will announce its official launch in the coming day.
IATA Travel Pass
Focused on government entry requirements, the IATA Travel Pass will help passengers easily and securely manage what coronavirus tests or vaccines are needed to enter a specific country. IATA Travel Pass consists of four modules:
- A global registry of health requirements
- A global registry of testing/vaccination centers
- A lab app to securely share test and vaccination certificates with passengers
- A contactless travel app that enables passengers to create a digital passport and manage their travel documentation digitally
With the IATA Travel Pass, passengers remain in control of their data as no information is stored in a central database.
JAL plans to trial the IATA Travel Pass on select international flights starting in May 2021.
Of the three COVID-19 travel apps, the IATA Travel Pass and CommonPass aim to be the global standard while VeriFLY is in practical use in the United States and is why JAL has selected the VeriFLY app for its American flights.
JAL says that collaborating with the health credential apps aims to provide a safe and secure travel experience for all of its passengers.
Will travelers need a COVID-19 passport?
While we can see how COVID-19 travel apps will help international travel, are they just the beginning of what might become the necessity of having a COVID-19 passport? This all points towards a social divide between those who have been vaccinated and those who have not.
Historically vaccine certificates are nothing new, with many countries requiring proof that you have been vaccinated for such diseases as yellow fever and, previously, smallpox.
Austria, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, along with the United States and some Asian countries, are looking at a COVID-19 passport as a way to return to normalcy. In contrast, France has raised concerns about vaccine certificates/passports.
Some people, especially those who do not want to get vaccinated, see vaccine certificates/passports negatively. They think that governments will use them to control people and take away freedoms. If you do not want to get the vaccine for personal reasons, it may limit your freedom of movement compared to those who have been vaccinated.
What do you think about the vaccine travel apps and the possibility of COVID-19 certificates/passports? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments.