The COVID-19 lockdowns have hard hit the travel industry.

Now that vaccinations are completing late-stage trials and plans are being made for their distribution, airlines are now considering implementing ‘vaccination passports’ to jump-start their recovery.

In Australia, the boss of Qantas, the country’s largest airline, said that once a virus vaccine becomes widely available, his carrier will likely require passengers use it before they can travel abroad or land in Australia.

Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce said he’s been talking to his counterparts at other airlines around the world about the possibility of a “vaccination passport” for international travelers.

“We are looking at changing our terms and conditions to say for international travelers, that we will ask people to have the vaccination before they get on the aircraft,” Joyce told Australia’s Network Nine television.

He said they were looking at ways to electronically verify that people have the necessary vaccine for their intended destination, a difficult task.

“But certainly for international visitors coming out, and people leaving the country, we think that’s a necessity,” he said.

In fact, the aviation industry is already developing a mobile app for passengers to show COVID-19 vaccinations and coronavirus status before travel.

Global airline lobby IATA is working on a mobile app that will help travelers demonstrate their coronavirus-free status, joining a push to introduce so-called Covid passports as vaccines for the disease near approval.

The Travel Pass will display test results together with proof of inoculation, as well as listing national entry rules and details on the nearest labs, the International Air Transport Association said Monday. The app will also link to an electronic copy of the holder’s passport to prove their identity.

A test program will begin with British Airways parent IAG SA this year before arriving on Apple devices in the first quarter and Android from April, IATA said. Travelers will be able to share their status with border authorities or present a QR code for scanning.

However, it appears the hard-hit cruise industry is docked until 2021 and plans to rely on COVD-testing and social distancing.

Cruise lines are not expected to start sailing in the U.S. again until January 2021 at the earliest, taking away the financial boost of families traveling during the holidays.

For cruise lines to start operations again, they will have to implement new requirements set in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ships will be required to have coronavirus testing on board. The passengers will also be expected to participate in social distancing.

“All ships are going to have an area for quarantining,” said Sinardi. “There will be more medical staff on board, a lot of sanitizing and limits in the elevators.”

With these new requirements planned for cruise lines in the new year, Sinardi hopes to see the industry grow again.


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