Covid-19: Singapore to become one of the first countries in the world to accept a mobile travel pass

Travellers can get clearance to enter the country by presenting a smartphone application by Iata that will contain their Covid-related data

IATA Travel pass. Courtesy IATA

On May 1, Singapore will become one of the first countries in the world to start accepting visitors who hold a mobile travel pass containing digital certificates for Covid-19 tests and vaccines, the country's aviation regulator said on Monday.

Singapore will accept the International Air Transport Association mobile travel pass, which was announced in December, for pre-departure checks. Travellers can get clearance to fly to and enter the country by presenting a smartphone application containing their data from accredited laboratories.

The Iata pass has already been successfully tested by Singapore Airlines. More than 20 international carriers, including Emirates, Qatar Airways and Malaysia Airlines, are also testing the pass.

Last month, Virgin Atlantic became the latest airline to announce it will trial the pass on its London to Barbados route from Friday, April 16.

FILE PHOTO - Singapore Airlines (SIA) planes sit on the tarmac in Singapore's Changi Airport March 3, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

"The success of our joint efforts will make Iata's partnership with the government of Singapore a model for others to follow," Iata director general Willie Walsh said.

The Asian business hub, which has had relatively few coronavirus cases this year, has been a leader in developing and using technology during the pandemic, and wants to be among the first countries to reopen to host international events.

Airlines are hoping more countries will approve digital passes on apps to allow travel to resume faster and avoid complications and delays at airports where several checks are required.

Currently, travellers from most countries are required to take pre-departure Covid-19 swab tests within 72 hours of their flights in order to travel to Singapore, with results presented at airport check-in and on arrival.

On Monday, the nation's Ministry of Health confirmed no new cases of locally transmitted Covid-19 infections and 17 imported cases.