The Department of Tourism (DOT) is considering the adoption of a COVID-19 digital travel pass containing vaccination and other health records as a requirement for visitors to the country
In a statement, DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, said Travel Pass developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) offers a global and standardized solution that will enable the validation and authentication of different country regulations regarding COVID-19 passenger travel requirements.
Puyat said as of April 4, over 20 airlines and airline groups have adopted the IATA Travel Pass on a trial basis.
“This move is parallel with the steps undertaken by other countries that have successfully relaxed borders to visitors amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Puyat said.
Puyat raised this possibility during a meeting with the IATA and local tourism industry leaders.
The IATA Travel Pass has four open-sourced and interoperable modules which can be combined to achieve an end-to-end solution. These are: a Travel Pass app that will enable passengers to create a digital passport, verify their tests or vaccinations with regulatory authorities, and submit requirements such as test results or vaccination certificates to facilitate travel; a registry of health requirements where passengers can get information on travel, testing, and vaccination requirements; a registry of testing/vaccination centers which enables passengers to find COVID-19 testing centers and laboratories at their departure or arrival locations; and a lab app that will allow authorized COVID-19 testing centers and laboratories to securely send test results or vaccination certificates to passengers.
“Albeit on its testing stage, the IATA Travel Pass… has so far been helpful to airlines that have adopted it for trial. Once the country’s adoption of the IATA Travel Pass is put into motion, the DOT hopes to safely reopen our tourist destinations to international visitors and revive the tourism industry as a whole. But this will be done only when the time is right,” Puyat added.