MIAMI – One challenge to passengers seeking to travel internationally amid constantly shifting rules and restrictions is having proper documentation of COVID-19 test results.

Now, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is partnering with a German-based medical diagnostic services provider Synlab to make this hassle a bit easier.

SYNLAB is the largest European clinical laboratory and medical diagnostic services company and offers a full range of “innovative and reliable medical diagnostics for patients, practicing doctors, clinics, and the pharmaceutical industry.”

Under the agreement, SYNLAB will securely share certified COVID-19 test results with passengers directly through IATA’s Travel Pass app. This will provide reliable digital proof of passenger health status as international travel slowly accelerates again. 

According to a news release announcing the partnership, travelers will have access to up to 450 testing labs and more than 1,600 sample collection points across 36 countries through SYNLAB’s international laboratory network.

Photo: IATA

About the Travel Pass

IATA’s Travel Pass enables passengers to locate authorized laboratories at departure locations to get tested for COVID-19. After testing, SYNLAB will provide passengers with their certified test results directly through the IATA Travel Pass. The app checks the result against the IATA Travel Pass registry of national entry requirements to produce an “OK to Travel” status.

Through the app, passengers can share their status and digital test certificates with authorities and airlines to facilitate travel.

Authorized laboratories send COVID-19 test results directly to a passenger’s phone as a verifiable credential – a digital solution that also prevents potential forgery of test results. 

“We are pleased to partner with IATA to make traveling as safe as possible. At a time when people around the world are resuming air travel and different variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are spreading, testing remains crucial,” Mathieu Floreani, CEO of SYNLAB, said in the news release. “Testing is a central pillar in monitoring and controlling the pandemic to prevent the spread of the virus.”

Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, added: “Verified COVID-19 testing is critical to restoring the freedom to travel for people who are not vaccinated. IATA Travel Pass aims to make it as simple as possible for travelers to locate certified labs and securely receive the test results that governments require for entry. Adding SYNLAB’s extensive lab network will help travelers more easily ensure that they meet their COVID-19 travel requirements.”

Featured image: SYNLAB