Ministers aim ‘to have Covid certification system in place’

Plenty of pledges but few details in travel taskforce report

Ministers aim ‘to have Covid certification system in place’

Covid-19 status certification will be a requirement for international travel when leisure traffic resumes, the government’s Global Travel Taskforce report acknowledges.

The report published today contains little detail on certification but does confirm the NHS is developing “a digital and non-digital solution for individuals to demonstrate Covid-19 status”.

The report notes “some countries will require proof of vaccination status as a condition of travel” and states: “The UK government will aim to support residents of England who wish to travel by providing verification that meets international requirements, in line with the Covid-status Certification Review.”

The Covid-status Certification Review is due to report separately from the taskforce later this month.

The taskforce report notes an increasing number of countries are adopting “Covid-19 status requirements for entry” which include “vaccination status, a negative test, and/or immunity status” and says: “Our ambition is to have a system in place to facilitate travel certification.”

It also pledges the government “will play a leading role in development of international standards around a digital travel certification system”.

The report says the NHS “is working with the Department for Transport and other departments” on the role of digital and non-digital ‘NHSX’ solutions for outbound travel and promises to work with the industry to develop a system “that works for border authorities and carriers and is interoperable”.

The Department for Transport will also explore testing technology solutions “with like-minded states” and “bilateral pilots on particular routes or with other countries”.

The report claims a “leadership role” for the UK in the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and in other international bodies in developing strategies for restarting travel, including the G7 and G20 groups of states.

It notes ICAO is working with the World Health Organisation on Covid-19 status certification.

The report also notes an increasing number of states “including Cyprus, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Malta and Iceland” have made unilateral declarations about entry requirements and pledges: “We will seek to agree a standard approach.

“We will play a leading role in development of international standards around a digital travel certification system.”

The report acknowledges the UK Border Force has “faced significant pressures” due to manual checks” which are creating excess queues and promises automatic validation of UK Passenger Locator Forms by the autumn.

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