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IATA COVID Passport

Good day all,

Like you, I am an avid travel who is extremely eager to return to Europe. We last visited Europe (Spain) over the Christmas holiday 2019-2020 and this has now been the longest stretch in recent memory where I have not been overseas. We made reservations with a camere in Vernazza, Italy for Spring 2020 initially before rescheduling several times to our current plan of Christmas holiday 2021 (which we are now feeling hopeful about). I know there won't be many activities available during the winter but just being there on the trails of the Cinque Terre will be glorious! My question is about the recently reported IATA COVID Passport. I checked around the internet and on the IATA website but found very little. There was a "sign up" area for updates but it appeared to be geared toward businesses only. Does anyone know where to find more details about this or any other similar program being introduced? My wife and I plan to get the vaccine ASAP and are willing to do whatever it takes to return to our favorite pass time, traveling around Europe. I apologize for rambling on but talking about travel is quite cathartic for me. Thanks for your help and good luck with your future travel!

Posted by
5629 posts

Jack, the articles I saw talked about it as an idea they were working on, not an available program. But regardless of what the IATA says, the countries' governments would have to agree to accept any sort of "passport" for entry, and there're still too many unknowns about the vaccines. There is already the existing (for decades) yellow international vaccination record card for tracking all vaccines, that might be enough anyway.

Posted by
18082 posts

I, too, hope to travel to Europe next year--and much earlier than December. I don't think we're going to be sure of anything until we see how the vaccine roll-out is going in our country and in our target destinations.

With respect to you specific plans, are you aware how subject the Cinque Terre trails are to closure due to weather damage during the off-season? I suggest doing a lot of research before scheduling an outdoor-oriented trip to that destination in the winter.

I'm not a winter traveler myself, but I wonder whether Madeira would be a better choice for walking at that time of year. I've made two summer trips there (though not recently), and it is gorgeous. The walking paths along the levadas yield wonderful views. Due to its location, Madeira's weather doesn't vary all that much seasonally, though some rain should be expected. Madeira has been popular with British tourists for a long time, so I assume under normal conditions there would be flights from London as well as from Lisbon.

Posted by
6532 posts

These ideas are in the concept and very nascent testing stage right now - nothing concrete yet. Airlines are very eager to get people flying again so they are pushing for any concepts and products to make that happen as soon as possible.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-11-23/airline-lobby-is-building-a-covid-travel-pass-to-spur-flights
https://www.axios.com/airlines-covid-vaccine-passports-drive-6fb11f81-f5b7-49d9-817f-18ac71a8d489.html

I too would research whether the Cinque Terre would make a good pick for winter travel - it doesn't seem like the best location if the trails are impassable or in rough condition due to weather, mud, etc.

Posted by
25 posts

Thanks for the comments. I appreciate all of the tips and suggestions too. I have been to Italy many times in the winter and I actually enjoy the Cinque Terre that time of year. There are fewer activities available but the towns are just as accessible (maybe not the blue trail, but the higher ones) and we always enjoy the serenity of it. Honestly, we are just looking forward to traveling again and just being there will be fulfilling enough. I look forward to hearing more and good luck to everyone with their travels!

Posted by
9170 posts

You do realize that IATA is a trade organization representing most of the world's airlines. It has no official power and cannot come out with a "passport" unless all of its members agree. And it would mean nothing to any country unless they recognize it.

Posted by
25 posts

Frank II,
Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I’m sorry if I didn’t make my needs clear. I am only looking for information that will be useful to the possibilities of future travel. God bless and good luck!

Posted by
4978 posts

I assume the reason you are not finding much is due to the fact that so little has been decided. I would just suggest continuing to check the IATA Travelcentre, they update the Covid travel regulations map regularly (just today in fact), and if they implement some type of "passport" it would be indicated there. The CDC is another place to check, as it would be US focused. The CDC has announced that when you get a Covid vaccination, you will get a Vaccination card, showing the initial dose, then the second, as well as any additional doses. Whether this will be enough for travel, or some additional internationally recognized form will be required, is anyone's guess.

We to are starting to plan, used miles in a deal to get tickets, but are pushing it for April. Optimistic? for sure, but everyday some positive news is emerging. My concern is that not only do you need to get a Vaccine, but then also a second dose, some 3-4 weeks later, so even if they say I will be able to get a vaccine at the beginning of April...it will not be until May that my regimen will be done.

I also expect that in addition to a vaccine, testing will be required, similar to what Delta and Alitalia have announced, and would not be surprised if some type of further verification or check might be implemented once you are there (a week or two later for example).

I do think that once this is under control, the pent up demand for travel is going to hit like an avalanche. Even just the recently announced vaccine news has driven up traffic to make travel reservation for next year.

Posted by
12117 posts

I don't think its unreasonable that by April or May things will return to at least the August 2020 levels. That at worse would mean no travel to the EU, but travel to non-EU countries with testing. The testing became non-problematic as testing labs, at least in my part of the world, were in ample supply, result time became hours instead of days. A number of airports are also setting up their own testing locations and that helps too. But expectations are not guarantees. We wait and see. But I am planning, and reserving for, a late April trip. As I discovered when I finally had to postpone my December trip; there is nothing to loose if you exercise a little care in bookings. So why not if you have nothing better to do with your time.

The IATA may be a trade organization, but they are also the ones publishing the information and guidelines that the airlines check (relative to COVID) before letting you on a plane. So they carry a lot of clout. Today you can go to their website and put in your destination and transfer airport and depending on what comes out of their system, you will be put on the plane or not. I dread the idea of health passports. May happen, but I dread it. I am paranoid about slippery slopes. Maybe unnecessarily so.

Posted by
9170 posts

The IATA may be a trade organization, but they are also the ones publishing the information and guidelines that the airlines check (relative to COVID) before letting you on a plane. So they carry a lot of clout

How is this clout? They are just reporting information. They don't make decisions. They have not influence. There are many websites where you can get information regarding covid and travel. IATA is doing it for their member airlines so they can keep up with the rules. You want another one, go to:

http://www.covidcontrols.co

A couple of years ago, IATA decided it was going to make carry on rules the same for all airlines. How well did that work out?

Posted by
12117 posts

Your link is great, problem is the Airlines aren't using it. They are listening to the IATA and if you want to know with any certainty if you will be let on that next flight, best check the IATA site.