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Air Travel Industry Prepares to Unleash COVID ‘Passport’ Program

If you thought masks were intrusive, wait until you get a load of this!

As many Americans continue to fear that the coronavirus could be used to encroach on their personal freedoms, the airline industry is taking a huge step toward doing just that.

For months now, the idea of being forced to wear a mask, or mandated to do anything, really, on account of the COVID-19 pandemic has been sticking in the craw of liberty-minded Americans around the country.  This has been especially true as we approach Thanksgiving, and several state officials have suggested capping the number of guests that families can host for the holiday.

Now, just as air travel looks to pick up for the festive season on the horizon, the airline industry is getting ready to add another layer of COVID precaution to the mix.

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Monday it’s “in the final development phase” of a mobile “digital passport” app that would tell airlines if international travelers had been vaccinated against COVID-19. The app would help “get people traveling again safely,” IATA’s Nick Careen said in a statement, by “giving governments confidence that systematic COVID-19 testing can work as a replacement for quarantine requirements.”

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Australia’s Qantas announced Monday that it’s on board with requiring a “vaccination passport” for international travelers, starting next year. “We are looking at changing our terms and conditions to say for international travelers, that we will ask people to have the vaccination before they get on the aircraft,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce told Australia’s Network 9. Korean Air and Air New Zealand also backed the idea but said any changes would have to be coordinated with their respective governments.

The news comes on the heels of announcements from at least three pharmaceutical companies who’ve had great success in the clinical trials of their COVID-19 vaccines.

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