Post Covid 19 air travel must guarantee the total safety of passengers and in order to facilitate the resumption of flights, verification methods able to provide immediate results are required. For this reason, experts are testing a system which should resolve most of these issues once and for all.
Known as a digital travel pass, it allows holders to travel outside their own national borders in complete freedom, including long haul flights. This technology was adopted on certain flights between Japan and Singapore in December 2020 and is also being trialled in Italy.
What exactly is a digital travel pass?
This method of ensuring safe air travel was first introduced in Italian trials in September 2020. The first Covid-tested flights from Rome to Milan provided an important basis for study, followed by ‘quarantine free’ flights to the United States from December 2020.
Thanks to the digital travel pass, access to Covid-free flights has become much simpler. In order to take advantage of its benefits, all you have to do is download the AOKPass application to your smartphone and report to the appropriate testing area located in all airports taking part in the project.
Travellers who have undergone the rapid swab test or the molecular test receive their results directly on their smartphone. If negative, the app generates a QR code which to be shown to staff at boarding. A brief scan of this code guarantees access to the plane, without any need to wait in long queues for the usual health checks.
The first trials of this new boarding procedure are being carried out at Fiumicino airport, Rome. The only route currently involved is Rome-New York, but, once the procedure is perfected, it is expected to be rolled out on other routes too.
Safe air travel is crucial for the economic recovery
The digitalisation of anti-Covid checks is an important step forward in the development of new protocols designed to guarantee safe access to air travel. This system will permit check-in times to be reduced, while keeping track of passengers’ Covid-19 status.
Especially in international travel, the digital travel pass represents a turning point which will effectively allow for global economic recovery; faster checking procedures and coronavirus-proof planes are in fact essential to encourage a largescale return to business travel.
The continuing vaccination campaigns can also contribute towards cutting boarding times. In order to be allowed to board, vaccinated passengers just need to show the ground staff a certificate as proof of vaccination.
In addition, we should remember that the new post-Covid safe air travel procedures can also eliminate the need for quarantine. The main problems linked to imposing a period of self-isolation regard difficulties with monitoring individuals and the need to rely on people’s common sense (which may of course vary from person to person).
With the development of additional AOKPass health services and the creation of authorised travel cards, healthy citizens will be able to travel around freely, without being penalised or having to suffer restrictions.
The digital travel pass will therefore revolutionise air travel and open the doors to an authentic economic recovery at global level. If this new system continues to evolve, it is destined to pave the way for new security standards, not only connected with the pandemic. With the right efforts and precautions, there is a strong chance of a return to normality sooner rather than later.
Translated by Joanne Beckwith