The International Air Transport Association (Iata) says it supports unrestricted access to travel for vaccinated travellers.
In cases where vaccination is not possible, access to quarantine-free travel should be provided through Covid-19 testing strategies based on widely available, free-of-charge tests, it adds.
Accepting vaccinated passengers should be global best practice to reopen borders, and Iata has applauded the growing number of countries making "data and evidence-driven decisions" to open their borders to vaccinated travellers.
“The latest data collected by Iata, including its Timatic service, shows that more than 20 countries have wholly or partially lifted restrictions for vaccinated travellers.”
The decisions of increasing numbers of countries to accept vaccinated travellers without quarantine measures adds pressure for a digital solution to manage vaccine certificates and Covid-19 test results, the association notes.
Paper-based processes could lead to extremely long processing times at check-in and border control. They also open the door to fraud. Digital vaccine/test certificates, coupled with passenger apps such as the Iata Travel Pass, will be needed to manage travel health credentials efficiently and securely in the restart, it suggests.
Recent Iata polling shows strong support for a digital solution, as 89% supported globally standardised Covid-19 test or vaccination certifications and 84% want an app to manage their travel health credentials.
“A gap is opening up between countries responding to scientific evidence and those exhibiting a lack of preparation or excessive caution in reopening borders. Countries that seize the opportunity offered by the increasing numbers of vaccinated travellers can protect their populations and reap an economic reward,” says Iata director-general Willie Walsh.