International airline body ‘in talks with Government on vaccination app’

Emma Bowden, PA

The International Air Transport Association (Iata) is in talks with the Government about a coronavirus vaccination app for travellers, according to its chief executive.

The trade body is working with carriers on the TravelPass app, which will give people flying abroad the ability to share their coronavirus test and vaccination results.

Alexandre de Juniac told the BBC’s Newscast podcast that the app could be rolled out from April, and discussions with the UK Government have been “very fruitful”.

“We should not anticipate, but the UK authorities are among those with whom we have the closest link on this element,” he said.

Mr de Juniac confirmed reports that the app is being trialled by IAG, the parent company of British Airways, as the aviation industry looks to ways of restarting international travel.

Meanwhile, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he has been in discussions with his counterparts in Singapore and the United States about the possibility of an international certification system.

“I imagine that in the future there will be an international system where countries will want to know that you have been potentially vaccinated or potentially had tests taken before flying,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“I was speaking to my Singaporean counterpart, I was speaking to my US counterpart this week, and we’ll have discussions about those things to have an internationally recognised system.

“I think the confusion comes in when people talk about domestic passports, which I think is not on the cards.”

Last week, Downing Street said the Government has no “current plans” for coronavirus immunity passports amid reports that British officials have started work on a certification programme.

A No 10 spokesman said: “There are still no current plans to roll out vaccine passports. Going on holiday is currently illegal.”

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