Vaccination obligations and corona passports coming to the aviation industry soon

Having a corona passport, which quickly proves that you have been vaccinated or tested negative for the coronavirus, will soon be introduced into the aviation industry. Some countries and flight companies will make vaccination a mandatory requirement for travel.

International aviation industry organization (IATA) is developing an app which will function as the corona passport. They expect it to be ready in early 2021, reports RTL Nieuws.

How the app will work

The organization already has an app used for checking if passengers have the right visas. Using this software, together with other aviation groups like IAG, under which British Airways belongs, IATA hope to develop the new corona passport app.

The organization claims that the app will not store data but will use Blockchain technology. For iPhone users, the app should be available for use in the first quarter of 2021, however Android users will have to wait until the second quarter.

Mandatory vaccination

Australian airline Qantas has announced that they will make it mandatory for travellers on international flights to be vaccinated, reports RTL Nieuws. They are yet to decide if they will require the same thing for domestic flights.

Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas, expects that many airlines around the world will begin to do the same, saying, “I think we’ll see this with more airlines.”

Aviation expert Joris Melkert of TU Delft explained that as private companies, airlines have the right to decide what rules they will apply for their flights, which is different to public transport, for example. Whether or not similar requirements will be introduced by Dutch airlines, is unclear. “For the time being this is not an issue in the Netherlands, but in our country this is a sensitive subject,” Melkert says.

Ethical discussions

Last week, parliament discussed implementing an ‘indirect vaccination obligation‘ in which those who are unvaccinated may be prevented from entering public buildings. Rutte argued in favour of this, saying that he would prefer that people get vaccinated voluntarily but that the public needed to be “nudged” towards vaccination in order to ensure that enough people got vaccinated.

Some MPs opposed this, saying that an indirect vaccination obligation would harmfully infringe upon individual freedoms. Public Health Minister Hugo de Jonge proposed that instead of tightening restrictions for those unvaccinated, measures should be loosened for those are are vaccinated.

Rutte acknowledged that the debate was an ethical one, which they would have to consider very carefully in the coming weeks.

What do you make of mandatory vaccination for air travel? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Feature Image: Anna Shvets/Pexels

Emily Burger
Emily grew up in South Africa but has also lived in Egypt, the UK, Canada and now the Netherlands. She first came here for her Bachelors in Arts and Culture at Maastricht University and soon fell in love with the land of canals, clogs and cheese. When she's not daydreaming about sci-fi movies or countries yet to explore, you can find her writing for DutchReview.


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