'Covid vaccine passport app' to be trialled on Singapore Airlines London flights

Vaccine passports have landed in the UK as the International Air Transport Association trials an app with an airline between Singapore and London.

The phone software from IATA stores evidence of a negative Covid test as well as the facility to store evidence travellers have had coronavirus vaccinations.

It is being trialled over the next few weeks with Singapore Airlines on a route between Singapore and London. 

The news comes as the UK Government mulls over vaccine passports to get the travel industry moving again. 

Nick Careen, IATA's senior vice president for airport passenger cargo and security, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that 'quite a few' governments have shown an interest in the app.

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Asked whether UK passengers would be able to use paper records as proof of vaccination or would need to upload digital evidence, Mr Careen said: 'The chances are it will be a combination of the two.

The new app could help reopen the air travel industry after the ravages of coronavirus

The new app could help reopen the air travel industry after the ravages of coronavirus

A tourist holding his app-loaded phone

How the IATA app looks

The IATA app will hold flight tickets as well as negative test proof and vaccine evidence

'Speaking specifically for the UK, there have been discussions and there have been some announcements in terms of digitising, and there is a digital record through the NHS of your vaccination regardless of how it is being logged, so the ability to be able to communicate that would not be overly burdensome.

'But, ultimately, yes, we would expect to have to have the ability to be able to upload existing documents but also those that are digital as well.'

In terms of data protection, Mr Careen said the information on the app would not be kept on a central database and that the test and vaccine records would only 'exist on your phone'.

It would be used if countries required evidence of a test or vaccine to enter them. 

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The news comes after UK's health secretary Matt Hancock yesterday confirmed discussions about vaccine passports with other countries and the EU.

'We are absolutely working with our international partners on the need for certification in terms of having had a vaccine to be able to travel to another country,' he said, adding that the 'EU is part of those discussions'.  

Britons who book holidays to Greece and arrive with 'vaccine passports' could be allowed to skip queues of people who have 'only' taken Covid tests (file image)

Britons who book holidays to Greece and arrive with 'vaccine passports' could be allowed to skip queues of people who have 'only' taken Covid tests (file image)

British and Greek teams are at an 'advanced stage' of talks over the system, Greek officials

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