Vaccination Visas Might Boost International Air Travel; Rail Travel Remains Bigger Challenge

As governments around the world explore ways to improve travelling experiences for tourists, the trend of vaccination visas might transform the entire concept of air travel in the coming days. In order to maximise benefits from the Covid-19 vaccine, both airline authorities and governments are working to establish digitally secure ‘vaccination visas’ system.

Australian flag carrier — Qantas has announced plans to make Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for all travellers after resumption of international flights in the coming year. Qantas’ CEO Alan Joyce stated that they expect other airlines to follow suit and issue guidelines to make vaccination mandatory.

For easing the process of vaccination visas, a globally accepted electronic ‘digital passport’ needs to be developed. Clearly, advanced technology is going to play a major role in future travelling. At the moment, various agencies are exploring how smart chip could be included in modern passports to ensure the safety of passengers on board.

As per Joyce, the prospects of a vaccine “could see (international) borders open up quite significantly through 2021”.

Keeping in line with the vaccination visas, the IATA had recently announced that it is in the final stage of creating a digitalised ‘Travel Pass’ that will support the reopening of international borders. Under this plan, both travellers and laboratories could theoretically upload test results and vaccine information, that could be shared with airlines.

In order to further process this thing, IATA is working in close association with International Airlines Group. As per sources, the first cross-border Travel Pass is set to come out soon. The main aim of this pass is to facilitate easy reopening of borders.

As stated by IATA CEO Alexandre de Juniac, “Testing is the first key to enable international travel without quarantine measures. The second key is the global information infrastructure needed to securely manage, share and verify test data matched with traveller identities in compliance with border control requirements”. Experts claim that even post the introduction of a certified vaccine, the launch of standardised and easily accessible vaccination visas will be needed to boost the global travel industry.

Experts claim that legally issued vaccination visas would re-establish travellers’ trust, thereby speeding the recovery of international air travel.

Although air travel will become a safer option post the introduction of vaccination visas, railway travel will still be a challenging issue. It remains to be seen if railway authorities all over the world will develop a standard ticket booking system to make future travelling safer or not.

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