It appears that international travel may soon become feasible again.
According to TODAYonline, Singapore is set to accept visitors with mobile travel passes from next month onwards, becoming one of the first few nations to embrace the initiative.
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According to the news report, travellers with an International Air Transport Association (IATA) mobile travel pass will soon be able to cross into local shores.
The pass, which is essentially a smartphone application that contains digital certificates for COVID-19 tests and vaccines, will offer travellers clearance during pre-departure checks.
Apparently, the pass was successfully trialed by Singapore Airlines (SIA), and is currently under the testing phase by more than 20 carriers, including Malaysia Airlines and Emirates.
“The success of our joint efforts will make IATA’s partnership with the government of Singapore a model for others to follow,” IATA director general Willie Walsh stated.
Currently, present protocols require travellers to go through mandatory pre-departure COVID-19 swabs within the first 72 hours of their flights.
They would then present the results at airport check-in and on arrival.
SIA’s move to trial the new system was unveiled on 8 March 2021.
The testing phase involved participating travellers who travelled to London between 15 and 28 March 2021.
Should digital passes become a new and normal feature of travelling, it would mean the streamlining of travel processes with fewer complications and delays.
This is due to mandatory checks of necessary documents, which are done at airports.
It should be noted that Singapore has also welcomed China’s proposal on “mutual recognition of health certificates”.
Reaffirming mutual ties, he stated that this would be a good time to establish travel relations.
“This is a timely initiative as our two countries have begun vaccination programmes,” he said.
Mr Balakrishnan also added that health certificates would aid in the safe resumption of cross-border travel while safeguarding public health at the same time.
In Australia’s case, the goal was to allow vaccinated individuals from Singapore to travel to Australia without quarantine, and for both countries to recognise each other’s digital vaccination certificate.
It appears that international travel may well be feasible, once again.
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