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According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), two major obstacles hindering the recovery of the airline industry are phony Covid-19 certificates and the high cost of testing. IATA Director General Willie Walsh urged all governments this week to pay for their citizens’ Covid-19 testing and use the official IATA electronic travel pass to both reduce the risk of fraudulent documents and to prevent “intolerable delays at the airport.”
Forgeries of negative Covid-19 results have been found all throughout Europe and India. In March, 47 airline passengers who traveled from Delhi to Hong Kong tested positive after arrival, even though their paperwork had already cleared them pre-flight. “Counterfeit vaccine paperwork is a really big security risk,” agreed Avast Security Evangelist Luis Corrons. “A number of countries and organizations such as the European Union are already working on a digital certificate to show proof of vaccination.” Utilizing an authorized digital travel pass would eliminate the need for paper documents.
The IATA also warned that consumers will be hesitant to travel if the cost of testing has to be added on both sides of the trip. On average, that would raise the total travel cost by around $200. Citizens should not have to bear that expense, Walsh maintains. “The best solution is for the costs to be born by governments as is their responsibility under WHO guidelines,” he said. For more on this story, see Airline Ratings.
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