British Minister of Transport Grant Shapps revealed that he is in talks with his counterparts in the United States and Singapore about the possibility of creating an international certification system to travel if he is free of covid-19.
In statements to BBC Radio 4, Shapps noted that it is very likely that «in the future there will be an international system for countries to potentially check whether one has been vaccinated or tested before travelling.»
The Minister anticipated that «talks on these issues will continue, in order to develop an internationally recognized system.»
Shapps said that there have been no plans in his country so far to introduce a «covid-19 immunity passport» within the UK, which has been under comment for weeks and that citizens could eventually be required to have a vaccination test to do everyday activities such as going to a pub.
Apps to confirm data
Also on the BBC, the CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Alexandre de Juniac, said the British executive has shown interest in the application he develops together with several airlines, TravelPass, which allows information on vaccines and approved tests to be stored in order to expedite travel procedures.
De Juniac assured that this app, which currently tests, among others, the British Airways (BA) airline would be ready to use from April.
A BA spokesperson told Efe that, in addition to its collaboration with TravelPass, it is the first UK airline to test since February 4, along with US-based American Airlines, «the mobile health passport» VeryFLY, which allows us to verify that countries’ health requirements are met before flying.
At the moment, travel in the UK is illegal for reasons other than essential and the government has increased restrictions on visitors to prevent the spread of highly contagious foreign variants of coronavirus.
Thus, from last Monday, travellers from the countries considered to be at greatest risk – including Chile – must comply with quarantine in a specially designated hotel assuming the costs, while all visitors, regardless of origin, will have to isolate themselves in a declared home and have several diagnostic tests before and after arriving in the UK.
Those who lie about whether they have visited risk zones face sentences of up to ten years in prison, with fines of up to 10,000 pounds for those who fail to comply with quarantine.
While in Spain, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, said that her country’s government «supports» the Greek-powered vaccine passport initiative, as well as any other measures that allow Spain to promote and be a destination for «safe travel» when mobility conditions occur.
Maroto said this after a meeting with entrepreneurs in San Sebastian de los Reyes, where he argued that there is a common vaccination framework and therefore also «a passport».
«Spain will be supporting any tool that makes it easier to recover safe travel and mobility,» said the minister, who hopes that they will soon become «a country open to the world» and with safe «tourist protocols.»
However, Maroto said that deadlines cannot yet be confirmed before this new instrument, because now «the urgent and important» is the containment of the pandemic, which is what the Executive «is focusing his efforts on».
In this sense, it has also left in the air whether tourism will be active at Easter, because its reopening «will come hand in hand with an improvement in epidemiological data».
The Tourism holder noted that although the contagion curve «drops, at its pace», you have to «wait and be cautious», so your team is working «to have the instrument ready».