France weighing digital Covid pass for air travel

By: AFP      Published: 04:07 PM, 11 Mar, 2021
France weighing digital Covid pass for air travel

France will try out a Covid-free status digital pass for air travellers with flag carrier Air France starting a month-long trial for some flights, Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said Thursday.

Airlines battered by travel restrictions are pushing hard for a global standard that would reassure passengers over contagion risks onboard and accelerate an eventual recovery for the sector.

For Air France flights to the French Caribbean territories of Martinique and Guadeloupe, passengers will have to present a phone app that shows either a vaccination certificate or a recent negative Covid test.

The system would require partnerships with testing facilities that would provide the digital proof.

"The goal is to see if it works well in real-time" by reducing checks that are drastically slowing boarding and arrival procedures, Djebbari told RMC radio.

"It could offer a preview, or at least a large-scale test, of a future 'travel pass'" that would "ensure against fraud and shorten waiting lines," he said.

He did not specify if Air France would use a system being developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which is being tested by several international carriers.

But for now, the travel pass does not foreshadow a broader Covid vaccination requirement for travel or other activities, such as going to restaurants or the cinema, Djebbari said.