Since the beginning of the coronavirus situation, the introduction of health passports as a solution for safe travel has been discussed.
With this document, would be easier for airlines to control the boarding and countries the entrance of healthy individuals in need to travel.
It could reduce the number of testings on a journey and, more important, exempt travelers from compulsory quarantine.
But almost one year after lockdowns and travel restrictions being put in place, what is the current state of health passports?
The demand for health passports called the attention of tech companies and other travel associations.
Those started to develop their own solutions, mostly a mobile app that generates a QR code that states the traveler’s COVID status.
To generate this code, travelers have to add their test results to the app in order to have it validated.
A few examples of digital health passports are:
The idea is great, it is a practical and accessible solution. But it has some limitations that make its use unworkable in the short term.
At the end of the year, news about corona-free flights started to pop out. One of the more recent schedules involves a flight between Italy and the United States.
Those flights supported by digital health passports represent the beginning of its implementation. And we can already say there is much to be done before it becomes a viable solution for safe travel.
Changes in requirements
One big concern for the traveler is the rapid change in requirements for boarding, even within countries. Airlines and governments have shown that rules can change on the way from the hotel room to the check-in.
Because of that uncertainty, passengers are not sure if they will meet all the requirements from countries and suppliers during the trip.
Many options on the market
On the one hand, it is good that are different digital health passports on the market. With more options, bigger are the chances for a viable solution to come up.
But on the other hand, a single end-to-end solution is what the traveler is looking for. Right now, each airline and country have their own approved method. That means another layer of confusion when traveling.
The advocacy organization Travel Again carried out a survey that found out 25% of travelers would not be willing to take and share Covid tests before and during a trip in order to resume traveling without restrictions.
From a business travel perspective, that is a high number. And health passports alone are not enough to change this mindset.
In the short term, health passports have failed as a solution for safe travel. But in the longer term, they may play an important role in the recovery process.
Its ability to display vaccine results as well as Covid test results will be of great help when people feel confident enough to travel again.
Digital health passports are part of smart tourism, which also involves a sustainable strategy, the digitalization of destinations, and the connection between community and travelers.
Orioly is meant for destinations looking for attracting more tourists and offering a better experience for their visitors.
Check out Orioly for destinations and learn more about smart tourism and our solution.
on December 11, 2020
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