Travel Agent NewsChina and TenCent launch health certificate for Chinese citizens, plus an overview of other pandemic travel news.

China now has its own vaccine passport

China's vaccine passport runs on Tencent’s WeChat messaging app, and is currently available only for Chinese citizens.
China's vaccine passport runs on Tencent’s WeChat messaging app, and is currently available only for Chinese citizens. Photo Credit: Travel Weekly China

China has launched a digital health certificate tracking users’ vaccination and coronavirus test history to allow international travel.

The vaccine passport runs on Tencent’s WeChat messaging app and currently works only for Chinese citizens.

President Xi Jinping of China has called for a standardised, global system, but other nations are wary, citing privacy concerns.

Amadeus, airlines in sync with health passport

Amadeus is integrating its health passport solution with health information aggregators, including CommonPass developer the Commons Project Foundation, which is backed by the World Economic Forum.

For airlines and airports, this solution can be integrated directly into their own digital channels. Travellers will be able to retrieve digital records through the provider of their choice, without leaving the airline website, mobile or app.

The platform also has direct connections to test centres partnering with airlines, providing a global coverage.

It can be used by the passenger either before departure or while at the airport, when checking in at the airline desk, at a self-service kiosk or bag drop.

A summary of how IATA's Travel Pass will work.
A summary of how IATA's Travel Pass will work. Photo Credit: IATA

SIA is world's first airline to trial IATA Travel Pass

Passengers on Singapore Airlines (SIA) will be the first to test the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Travel Pass: a mobile app to verify their Covid-19 test results and vaccination status.

The trial will begin with passengers travelling from Singapore to London between 15 Mar and 28 Mar. With the pass, passengers can use their Covid results to check in, opening up the possibility of travel without the quarantine and stay-home notice.

"Participants will have full control over how their personal information is shared, as the data is stored locally in the mobile phone and not in any central database. This is critical, given the highly sensitive nature of health data," said SIA, according to a Straits Times report on 8 March.

Earlier in February, SIA Group announced that its three passenger airlines — SIA, SilkAir and Scoot — operated 11 February flights with a full set of vaccinated pilots and crew.

Australia pushes ahead with vaccination programme

Australia has vaccinated 100,000 people, a few weeks into its vaccination roll out.

A Federal Health Department spokesman said AstraZeneca was going to be the “workhorse vaccine” for the country since local company CSL will be producing 50 million doses of that vaccine in Australia.

The government originally planned to have four million people vaccinated with their first dose by the end of March, which later changed to early April.

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