British Airways has announced it could introduce an online vaccine passport for flying on its planes, as the company aims to develop a digital health travel wallet and document verification solutions.
Under the plans, people will be able to register their vaccination status on the airline’s app before being allowed to fly, including whether they’ve received two doses.
The move comes as Boris Johnson said he will give the go-ahead for a return to international travel from 17 May at the earliest.
So, what will the vaccine passport look like and when will it be available? This is what we know so far.
What is a BA digital health pass?
British Airways (BA) has announced announced it intends to increase its trial of the VeriFLY digital health app across all International flights operating into the UK.
The app will allow those who register their health information, potentially including whether they have been vaccinated, to determine if they are eligible to fly to their chosen destination, in accordance with the arrival country’s eligibility riteria.
The company’s chief executive, Sean Doyle has said the UK should be a global leader in reopening international travel.
He added that the UK government should "set an example" to other countries, by including the use of digital technology to verify the vaccination status of international passengers.
Mr Doyle said: "We're making great progress in Britain in dealing with the pandemic.
"It's fair to say that Britain has developed a really strong leadership position in coming out the other end of the pandemic.
"What we want to make sure is that we also take that leadership position into restoring travel and restoring the economy."
BA included in its announcement that when the government lifts restrictions, those eligible to fly will be able to enjoy free water and snacks on short-haul economy flights and the option to select from it’s pre-purchase menu , created in partnership with chef Tom Kerridge.
When will the BA Covid passport come into effect?
British Airways has not yet added a feature to the veriFLY app which would enable customers to share their vaccination status, though this is being considered.
The Prime Minister has suggested international travel could be reintroduced from mid May, if the government’s lockdown exit plan remains on track..
However, Johnson has said the government will take a “cautious” approach to lifting lockdown restrictions and any provisional dates will be reviewed before decisions are made.
Will I be able to fly if I haven’t had my Covid vaccinations?
At present, BA is the only company to announce trials of a health passport, and other airlines have not outlined how or if they will restrict who can fly on their domestic and international flights.
Therefore, there is no reason to suggest people who have not yet received their vaccine will be not be able to booking flights to international destinations.