Passenger vaccination status easily confirmed at departure airport, trial finds

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A trial conducted by Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and London Heathrow Airport has shown that the vaccination status of passengers can be easily confirmed at the origin airport.

Using a selection of US, Caribbean and European routes, the trial demonstrated that airlines and airports can easily check a wider range of recognized vaccination statuses for different nationalities – in both paper and digital format – at the point of departure and away from the UK border, ensuring no further pressure in immigration halls.

Verification checks ensured 99% of credentials were authentic – with the remaining 1% successfully denied where documentation requirements were not met.

As part of the 10-day trial, fully vaccinated customers on selected flights from Los Angeles, New York, Montego Bay and Athens agreed to share their vaccination status at their departure airport.

From August 2, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers from the USA and EU will no longer need to quarantine upon arrival in the UK.

Internationally recognized vaccination credentials including CDC cards, New York’s Excelsior Pass, the EU Digital Covid Credential and NHS certificates, among others.

Customers in the trial presented a combination of digital or paper-based vaccine credentials for validation, which British Airways customers verified digitally through the VeriFLY app, while Virgin Atlantic customers used a digital uploader tool developed in partnership with Delta Air Lines and backed by TrustAssure technology.

Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss said, “Following news that fully vaccinated EU and US citizens arriving into the UK will no longer be required to self-isolate, we stand ready to work with government to ensure new rules are smoothly implemented at pace, supporting the reopening of the transatlantic corridor. Recent proof-of-concept trial between Virgin Atlantic, Heathrow and British Airways has demonstrated our readiness to rapidly operationalize an expanded amber policy, with 99% of customers’ vaccine credentials authenticated at the point of departure.

“We now urge UK government to go further and move the US to the UK’s ‘Green list’ and for the Biden administration to repeal the 212F proclamation for UK travelers. The UK is already falling behind US and EU and a continued overly cautious approach towards international travel will further impact economic recovery and the 500,000 UK jobs that are at stake,” he said.

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Dan originally joined Passenger Terminal World in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As online editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editor with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest aviation news, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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