The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged the UK Government to speed up its efforts to digitalise the paper-based manual system currently deployed to manage passengers test and vaccine certificates, as the country plans to re-open international travel from 17 May.

The association warned the government that lengthy border checks at airports could lead to a major risk in the recovery of international travel.

It noted that there are already reports of lengthy waits at border checkpoints even with limited traffic and from 17 May it is critical that passengers are not left standing in queues for hours for the completion of manual checking of vaccine and testing documents.

The International Air Transport Association has welcomed the UK Government’s plans to use digital systems such as IATA Travel Pass to manage the testing and vaccination certificates check.

However, it noted that there is a need to come to an agreement on what digital systems will be accepted or trialled to ensure a safe and seamless travel experience.

IATA Travel Pass is a digital platform for passengers that includes four open-sourced and interoperable modules.

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This provides information to passengers regarding the travel, testing and vaccine requirements for their journey.

It allows them to find information regarding the testing centres and labs at their departure and/or arrival location for conducting Covid-19 tests.

Additionally, it can be used to manage the travel documentation digitally throughout the travel experience.

Recently, Singapore Airlines initiated a trial of IATA Travel Pass for Covid-19 test results and vaccination status at Singapore Changi Airport (SIN).