VACCINE PASSPORTS are set to be trialled all around the world over the next few weeks as the face of international travel gears up for a major change.
Global airlines are set to test a digital Covid-19 vaccine passport system, which will be able to determine which passengers have been vaccinated against coronavirus.
The International Air Travel Association (IATA), a trade organisation of the world's airlines, has confirmed that a 'Covid Travel Pass' system will be ready "within weeks".
It's understood that the pass can be accessed via a smartphone app, and will allow each airline to see which passengers have received Covid-19 vaccinations, and which passengers have recently tested negative for the virus, allowing those passengers to travel freely.
The app will also verify that the testing or vaccination a passenger has received has been administered by an approved authority.
The system could spell the end for quarantine and isolation rules around the globe, which will be a huge boost to the world's tourism and business industries.
Speaking to the BBC, Vinoop Goel, the IATA's regional director of airports and external relations, said: "The key issue is one of confidence. Passengers need to be confident that the testing they've taken is accurate and will allow them to enter the country.
"And then governments need to have the confidence that the tests the passengers claim to have is one which is accurate and meets their own conditions," he said.
Mr Goel added that the app will be ready to launch in March and will synched up with airlines around the world.
Last week, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar confirmed that vaccine passports were indeed going to be a part of Ireland's future.
"I see the advantage in people being able to prove they've had the vaccine and/or that they've tested negative," he said.
"I know that we have an immunisation document ready that people will get with a QR code on it to show that they have been immunised."