(31 Mar 2021) Hong Kong Airlines has confirmed that it is working closely with IATA to trial its Lab App, a key module in the IATA Travel Pass.
Passengers on a select route will be invited to participate by first downloading the app and creating a digital profile before selecting a participating medical service provider for testing.
A secure, encrypted channel will then enable the registered laboratory to verify the passenger’s identity and directly send the outcome of the COVID19 test, or proof of vaccination, to the traveller’s mobile device.
This will then be checked against IATA’s global registry of COVID19 health requirements, a system used by the majority of airlines and airports globally, to ensure regulatory requirements are complied, before the passenger receives an “OK to Travel”.
Hong Kong Airlines Director of Service Delivery Mr Chris Birt, said, “We welcome the opportunity to contribute our inputs into the development of the IATA Travel Pass and will continue to support IATA’s efforts in leading the recovery of international travel. Given the constantly changing environment of the current pandemic and frequent modification of border restrictions by governments, Travel Pass is undoubtedly the best go-to app for passengers to access the most updated travel information, ensure they comply with the latest entry requirements and allow them to manage their digital health documents in a safe and secure way.”
The Airport Authority of Hong Kong and the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer are observers to the trial with Hong Kong Airlines.
“Restarting international aviation safely has been at the forefront of IATA’s Travel Pass initiative. We are proud to partner Hong Kong Airlines to trial the app and demonstrate that this technology can securely, conveniently and efficiently help manage passenger travel health credentials,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President Airport, Passenger, Cargo, Security.
Hong Kong recently announced the easing of quarantine requirements for inbound travellers from 21 days to 14 days.
The 14-day mandatory quarantine at a designated hotel, followed by a week of self-monitoring will apply to travellers arriving from low-risk places as well as those arriving from medium-risk places and have been vaccinated.
The government is also in discussions with 16 countries on allowing people who have been vaccinated to travel.
Editor’s note: As the above video interview was conducted over the internet, I would like to apologise that the audio and visual quality are not up to the same HD/UHD quality that it normally would be. Hopefully it won’t be too long until we are once again conducting exclusive video interviews in person, but for now we have to make do with what we have. Thank you.