Weekly Now: How Digital Passports Could Help Bring Back Global Travel

The International Air Transport Association is creating a "digital health pass" for global travelers that could allow borders to reopen safely. Also: why you should lean on interviews for virtual events.

Travelers are used to producing a passport when moving from country to country. Now a digital equivalent could prove an important step to reopening borders after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, the International Air Transport Association announced its plan to create an IATA Travel Pass, a series of digital applications that will allow travelers to confirm that they have received the COVID-19 vaccine and are safe to travel. The applications will rely on digital certificates managed by laboratories that will be recognized by governments.

In a news release, IATA said the system will help ensure that international travel can safely resume.

“Today borders are double locked. Testing is the first key to enable international travel without quarantine measures. The second key is the global information infrastructure needed to securely manage, share and verify test data matched with traveler identities in compliance with border control requirements. That’s the job of IATA Travel Pass,” IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said in a press release. “We are bringing this to market in the coming months to also meet the needs of the various travel bubbles and public health corridors that are starting operation.”

A pilot program will begin before the end of the year, with full rollout expected in the first quarter of 2021.

Other recent headlines:

State cannabis regulators launch new association. With a number of states legalizing cannabis for the first time, governments at the federal, state, and local levels are working together to launch the Cannabis Regulators Association, a nonpartisan group that aims to share best practices for jurisdictions trying to regulate marijuana. “The Cannabis Regulators Association will provide a much needed forum for regulators to engage with each other to identify and develop best practices, create model policies that safeguard public health and safety, and promote regulatory certainty for industry participants,” said the group’s inaugural president, Norman Birenbaum, in a statement.

Helping LGBTQ students with disabilities. The Human Rights Campaign’s educational foundation has released a new guide to help educators support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students with disabilities in academic settings, including under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which requires educational accommodations for children with disabilities. “Educators, school psychologists, parents, and other adult allies play an important role in ensuring the safety, inclusion, and well-being of these students—including developing Individualized Education Programs and 504 plans so they are free from discrimination, both because of their disability status and their LGBTQ identities,” said Vincent Pompei, the director of HRC’s Youth Well-Being Program, in a news release.

Why Interviews Matter

Want to stand out during a virtual event? Do an interview.

That’s a tip from Thom Singer, CSP, an executive search consultant and keynote speaker. In the latest episode of his podcast ‌Making Waves at C-Level, Singer discusses how he and his creative partner Eliz Greene built the Webinar Talk Show, which aims to elevate the interview format as a medium in virtual events, pushing slideshow-driven formats off to the side.

“She and I decided early on in COVID when everybody and their brother started hosting webinars and virtual conferences, we decided that a lot of those events sucked, and that they weren’t really doing the best they could to communicate,” Singer said in the episode. “And we realized that something was missing—and that was the interview process.”

Listen to Singer’s podcast to learn more.


ASAE and other business groups have called on the Small Business Administration to temporarily suspend “loan necessity” questionnaires related to the Paycheck Protection Program that may be biased against borrowers.

Trying to get a handle on remote tech support? Check out our recent piece, chock-full of tips from the association technology solutions firm DelCor.

It’s not selfish for leaders to focus on self-care, says Associations Now’s leadership blogger, Mark Athitakis.

(doble-d/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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