Major news for those suffering from a serious case of wanderlust! A little birdie's told us that personal travel will likely return from the second half of this year, according to an interview by The Straits Times with Mr Alexandre de Juniac, director of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Alexandre says that there will likely be a change in the air travel landscape after May or June this year – and that IATA is already working with states to design and plan protocols and road maps for the reopening of borders. Amongst which, IATA's Travel Pass, a mobile health verification app that electronically keeps records of a traveller's vaccination history and Covid-19 test results for cross-border safety checks.
And the world's first airline to officially announce that it will start using IATA's Travel Pass in a trial? Our very own Singapore Airlines, which will begin with passengers flying from Singapore to London from March 15 to 28. If this proves a success, the app could be rolled out globally.
Beginning March 15, passengers on that route using Apple iOS-enabled phones will be able to download the Travel Pass app and create a digital identification with their photo and passport information. All they have to do is submit flight information and book a Covid-19 test at one of seven participating clinics in Singapore. The test results can then be viewed directly on the app.
This makes travelling easier because check-in staff at Changi Airport can verify their status via the app, speeding up the check-in process. However, travellers will still need to carry a physical copy of their health certificate issued by the relevant clinics.
It's been a year since most of us have been on our last vacation, and Singaporeans have been itching to travel. This begs the question: once travel kickstarts, will you jump on the first opportunity to go on a holiday – or will you wait until the situation calms down?