A Digital Travel Pass is Underway to Reopen Borders for Normal International Flights Early in 2021

International travel continues to remain the most complicated phenomenon even though we are heading into 2021. In India alone, the entry requirements and quarantine regulations vary from state to state making it difficult for international arrivals during the pandemic. For instance, Chennai and Kolkata require international travellers to arrive with a negative RT-PCR certificate, whereas asymptomatic people flying into Bangalore, Kerala, or Odisha directly from abroad don’t need an RT-PCR test. Normal/regular international travel will not resume until the unprecedented regulations for US to India travel or travel to some other country are eased.

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Picture Credit: IATA

A digital travel pass is underway to facilitate safe resumption of air travel across geographies. The IATA Travel Pass is all set for a pilot trial early in 2021. On successful completion of the trial period, the IATA Travel Pass will be implemented worldwide in a bid to end the impasse that currently exists due the scattered information about international travel amid the pandemic. Expected to be a most vital travel app, the travel pass will give seamless access to the information about country-specific entry requirements, visa restrictions, travel regulations, etc. It will also be a key source of information about where and how to take a COVID test for hassle-free travel in 2021.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is a major driving force catapulting international air travel beyond the restrictions and reinstating the flying public’s confidence. The objective of the Travel Pass that IATA worked on in collaboration with International Airlines Group (IAG) is defined as below:

“Informing passengers on what tests, vaccines and other measures they require prior to travel, details on where they can get tested and giving them the ability to share their tests and vaccination results in a verifiable, safe and privacy-protecting manner is the key to giving governments the confidence to open borders.”

IATA says that the Travel Pass will be an all-in-one solution to the chaos existing in global field and that the app will secure the user’s personal information against unauthorized access. Decentralized block chain technology will be used to ensure that the IT infrastructure for the digital travel pass does not integrate a central database and thereby preventing hacking of the user’s personal details. The global implementation of the IATA Travel Pass depends on successful completion of the trial period – which will convince all partners that the app is safe and secure.

“The IATA Travel Pass is expected to be a revolutionary solution both for travelers and aviation authorities. In a country like India where COVID testing guidelines, entry requirements and quarantine regulations are so volatile that we struggle to keep our customers informed about do’s and don’ts related to their departure, transit and arrival. Though we are striving to dish out the latest information through our travel news portal, many travelers are puzzled over what forms to be filled out, what apps to be installed, what portals to register on, what COVID tests are considered valid, etc. Hence, a uniform solution such as IATA’s digital travel pass is a boon to everyone,” said the chief information officer of Indian Eagle.

The Travel Pass in question will also mitigate the risks of importing the Novel Coronavirus once borders reopen for normal international flights. While supporting the travel pass, the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) has requested Indian Government to revoke the suspension of e-visa and tourist visa for the countries with which India has established an air bubble travel corridor. IATA elaborates on the benefits of its digital travel pass:

“It will travelers to create a ‘digital passport’, receive test reports and vaccination certificates and verify that they are sufficient for their itinerary, and share test reports and vaccination certificates with airlines and authorities to facilitate travel. This app can also be used by travelers to manage their travel documentation digitally and seamlessly throughout their journey, improving travel experience.”

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16 thoughts on “A Digital Travel Pass is Underway to Reopen Borders for Normal International Flights Early in 2021

  1. Salome Solomon

    We are scheduled to travel to Bangalore from USA( Indianapolis) in January 2021 by Delta and Air France. Our flights are routed through Paris. Is flying through Paris safe? Please advise. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Silvia Thornton

      I’m coming from USA on April 2 to Delhi
      I hope by then I can have my visa!!!
      Where can I get the info about when can I apply for my visa

      Reply
      • indianeagle Post author

        Hi Silvia! If you are a US national (not of Indian origin), you can’t travel to India until India lifts entry restrictions for foreigners. Please watch out our FB page for the upcoming updates related to USA-India air travel and visa.

        Reply
    • Don Best

      Please explain how you are able to get to India from USA. I am American with emoyment in India and cannot get a work visa. Tourist visas not allowed. I need to be in India in March. I am not of Indian origin.

      Reply
      • indianeagle Post author

        Hi Don! Currently foreigners are barred from traveling to India except for diplomatic purposes.

        Reply
  2. Dr. Neelamekam TK

    Sir
    Planning to come from UK on 24 Jan 2021 from London to Bangalore.
    Can you update the quarantine rules in bangalore airport
    I am travelling with RTpcr test report.
    kindly help

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hello Dr. TK! Travelers from the UK must carry a negative RT-PCR test report and take a COVID test upon arrival at Bangalore Airport. If the test taken at the airport is negative too, you will be exempted from institutional quarantine. However, you may be advised home quarantine.

      Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Ranganathan! If you are an Indian national with/without green card or a US national with/without an OCI card, you can travel. May we know your exact query?

      Reply
        • indianeagle Post author

          Hi Tejaswi! US nationals of Indian origin, without an OCI card, can travel to India if they have a valid visa based on their purpose, like business visa/student visa/medical visa/regular or emergency entry visa other than tourist visa which is currently suspended.

          Reply
  3. Monica

    This is a very bad idea. It seems like a money grab by pharmaceutical industry to sell vaccines on a yearly basis to travel. It’s has Bill Gates signature all over it. The IATA should be banned and any airline or country participating should be protested.

    Reply
  4. Sam Thiara

    I was born in India and now a US Citizen and needing to travel to New Delhi. I have a tourist visa with multiple entires. Is this sufficient for travel?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Sam! India banned travel on tourist visa 6 months ago. The ban is still in effect. Hence, you need an entry visa to visit India in view of the suspended tourist visa.

      Reply
  5. Dov

    I am travelling from London on business to Bangalore for 4 days.
    I need RT PCR test, return ticket, hotel reservation, business invitation
    Can I go to Mumbai for last day of my trip and then fly back to London from there?

    Reply

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