Airline trials IATA Travel Pass

HONG KONG, 2 April 2021: Hong Kong Airlines will trial a digital health passport developed by the International Air Transport Association as part of the carrier’s ongoing contributions towards the safe reopening of borders and international travel.

The IATA Travel Pass will provide travellers with easy access to Covid-19 entry requirements for their destination and accredited testing centres at their point of departure. The app also enables passengers to link their Covid-19 test results to a digital version of their passport created through the app.

Under this trial, Hong Kong Airlines will work closely with IATA to test its Lab App, a key module in Travel Pass. Passengers on a selected 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 Covid-19 test or proof of vaccination to the traveller’s mobile device.

This will then be checked against IATA’s global registry of Covid-19 health requirements, a system used by the majority of airlines and airports globally, to ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements before the passenger receives an “OK to Travel”.

Hong Kong Airlines director of service delivery Chris Birt said: “We welcome the opportunity to contribute our inputs into the development of 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 observing the trial with Hong Kong Airlines.

Hong Kong has recently modified quarantine requirements for inbound travellers.

All persons who have stayed in specified extremely high-risk places for more than two hours on the day of boarding or during the 21 days before that day are not be allowed to board flights for Hong Kong.

All persons arriving at Hong Kong (either via the airport or land boundary control points) who have stayed in places outside China on the day of arrival at Hong Kong or during the 21 days before that day have to undergo compulsory quarantine for 21 days in designated quarantine hotels.

All passengers arriving in Hong Kong will be required to undergo a medical test for Covid-19 prior to clearing immigration and baggage collection.

The test, which involves providing a combined nasal and throat swab sample, will be conducted by medical professionals at the Department of Health Temporary Specimen Collection Centre at Midfield Concourse. Passengers will receive directions and assistance after disembarking the aircraft. All passengers will be required to wait for their test results.

The 14-day of 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.