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Pre-pandemic, a passenger spent an average of 1.5 hours getting from the airport entrance onto their plane. With the increase in procedural requirements during the pandemic, the average time has doubled – even while traveller numbers are still a fraction of the norm. How will airports prevent chaos once travel fully recovers?
Digitising Covid-19 health credentials and including them as a requirement on the existing digital systems used worldwide, is the quickest way to ensure a smooth restart to travel and tourism. Including these certificates or credentials in the existing system will also prevent fraudulent documents through system checks as with passports, reduce touchpoints to prevent infection flare-ups, reduce queuing and reintroduce safe and secure self-check-ins to speed up traveller boarding.
A common system, with requirements and symptom checks that work in accordance with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) regulations, would protect airports, suppliers, countries, and their governments as well as each individual traveller.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is appealing to the G7 – an inter-governmental political forum consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States – to take the lead in restarting the global travel sector. In this appeal, IATA is encouraging the digitising of the Covid-19 travel requirements to allow for vaccine passports, easier and more reliable Covid-19 test results, and a faster return to ‘normal’ worldwide travel.