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Travel tech industry developing health passport apps

Airline and travel industry officials have raised concerns about a potential federal testing requirement for U.S. domestic travel. The industry group Airlines for America said it believes a domestic travel testing requirement is unwarranted because the risk of COVID-19 transmission on a plane is low, and that such a mandate would require a 42% increase in daily testing capacity nationwide.

There’s an array of international travel requirements that vary by country and change frequently as governments respond to the fluctuations in coronavirus cases and variants.

The International Air Transport Association, a global airline industry group, says its IATA Travel Pass allows passengers to verify that their test or vaccinations meet regulations required for international travel.

It can also help passengers to find information on international travel requirements, test centers and labs while traveling, and allows authorized labs and test centers to send test results or vaccination certificates. IATA is partnering with Emirates and Etihad Airways to launch the IATA Travel Pass. It said Copa Airlines and the government of Panama will conduct a trial of the technology.

The SITA software is designed to integrate with different travel pass systems developed by other organizations and companies, including CommonPass and the IATA Travel Pass.

CommonPass, whose network includes United, JetBlue, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic and Airports Council International, was developed by a nonprofit public trust supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and the World Economic Forum. It is aimed at letting travelers demonstrate their health status while protecting their data privacy. The CommonPass was tested on United flights last fall.

According to CommonPass CEO Paul Meyer, the system could be used for people to safely return to travel, work and school.

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