| 22 February 2024, Thursday |

Iceland opens borders to vaccinated travelers as IATA praises COVID-19 travel pass pilot programme

The island nation is one of several European countries that has effectively controlled the COVID-19 pandemic inside its borders, the report said, adding it had allowed vaccinated and previously infected travelers from the European Union in recent months.

Iceland has reopened to travelers vaccinated against COVID-19, allowing them to avoid quarantines on arrival and pre-flight testing, Simple Flying reported on Thursday.

Travelers entering the country must have received one of four jabs approved by the European Medical Agency (EMA) – Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson.

Others previously infected with COVID-19 with antibodies can also avoid lengthy pandemic protocols, the report added.

According to Simple Flying, Iceland reported 29 deaths and 6,089 cases and used testing procedures at border checks.

IATA Welcomes Travel Pass Trial

The news comes just after the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced London Heathrow Airport had received its first traveler on the IATA Travel Pass app.

The new app allows travelers to manage their health credentials, including vaccine certificates, and had been tested with Singapore Airlines. Travelers can also enter their flight details to learn travel restrictions and requirements.

“The successful implementation of IATA Travel Pass in this trial with Singapore Airlines passengers demonstrates that technology can securely, conveniently and efficiently help travelers and governments to manage travel health credentials. The significance of this to re-starting international aviation cannot be overstated”, IATA director-general Alexandre de Juniac said in a statement.

Such digital health credentials will be “essential” as borders open and travel restrictions ease globally, JoAnn Tan, acting senior vice president of marketing and planning for Singapore Airlines said.

“The successful implementation of the IATA Travel Pass reflects Singapore Airlines’ goal of using secure digital solutions to verify health credentials, and support a safe and seamless travel experience for our customers”, he said.

The success of the pilot programme was a “big win” for the industry and revealed governments could effectively manage travel requirements “with complete confidence”, Tan concluded.

“And it’s a purpose-built means for airlines to manage the new travel requirements without drowning in inefficient and ineffective paper processes”, de Juniac added.

  • Sputnik