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The NHS app and website is currently experiencing issues with users unable to access their digital COVID vaccine passes, NHS Digital has said.
Panicked NHS app users with imminent travel plans have reacted to the COVID pass outage on Twitter – with some fearing they could miss flights.
An NHS COVID Pass shows proof of a coronavirus vaccination as well as test results.
There are currently issues with accessing the Covid Pass on the NHS App and website. We are investigating the issue and will update as soon as we can.
— NHS Digital (@NHSDigital) October 13, 2021
“There are currently issues with accessing the Covid Pass on the NHS App and website. We are investigating the issue and will update as soon as we can,” NHS Digital said in a tweet.
People travelling abroad or attending events and venues in England may be asked for proof of their COVID-19 status.
Social media users replied saying they were due to travel today and asked for advice.
“Is there any estimation of how long the fix will take? Due to travel in 4 hours time, but won’t be if the app isn’t working again,” one person tweeted.
Another Twitter user said he had missed his flight due to the problem.
While someone else replied: “Not good. Flying in the morning. Need pass. Stressful.”
The service seems to be intermittent with some people able to download their passes if they keep trying.
Hope it sorts soon🤞🏼IT gremlins happen. This won’t help anyone travelling now, but for future…
Top tip: download PDF record from the app & save to your device a few days before needed, and/or iPhone/iPad users can also save COVID pass to their e-wallet. #NHS #covidpass #Travel pic.twitter.com/u7raaqmrAv
— Digital Paramedic 🚑👨🏻💻🇬🇧🏳️🌈 (@digitalparamed) October 13, 2021
Earlier this month, Scotland’s newly launched vaccine passport app was also hit by technical problems, meaning people are unable to register their details on it.
People attending large events and nightclubs in Scotland now need to show proof using the app that they have had two doses of vaccine before they are allowed in, but just hours after the app’s launch, social media users said they were unable to register on it.
Last month, Boris Johnson said the government wants to avoid the introduction of COVID vaccine passports in England “if we possibly can”, but added they would be an option to be kept “in reserve”.
Six airlines are planning wide implementation of the International Air Transport Association’s Travel Pass health passport tool, the organization announced.
Emirates in late September announced itself as the first carrier undergoing a full global implementation of Travel Pass, which provides information on travel requirements, access to Covid-19 testing centers and digital documentation of test results and vaccination certificates. After tests on select routes starting last April, Emirates now will have the tool available across its full network this month.
On Tuesday, IATA announced that Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Qantas and its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar Airways, Royal Jordanian and Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways also are planning to implement Travel Pass across their networks in a “phased rollout.”
During the past 11 months, 76 airlines in total have been testing the Travel Pass technology, and it is now ready for the operational phase, IATA director general Willie Walsh said in a statement.
“The app has proven itself to be an effective tool to manage the complex mess of travel health credentials that governments require,” Walsh said. “And, it’s a great vote of confidence that some of the world’s best known airline brands will be making it available to their customers over the coming months.”
IATA Travel Pass currently is able to manage vaccine certificates from 52 countries, representing about 56 percent of the global air travel market. By the end of November, IATA expects that will increase to 74 countries, representing 85 percent of global air traffic.
The use of biometrics and self-service check-in kiosks has enabled Emirates to serve nearly three times as many passengers per day in July and August of 2021 as it did a year earlier, Travel News Asia reports.
The kiosks at the airline’s Dubai hub were used by 568,000 Emirates travelers in July and August, and more are being installed. More than 380,000 people have used biometrics for flight boarding with Emirates. The airline says more passengers have begun using biometrics since the pandemic began.
Emirates’ IATA Travel Pass deployment has reached six continents, meanwhile, which the airline says makes it the first to deploy its digital health pass on such a broad global basis. A contract to extend the IATA Travel Pass beyond the 12 routs it is already deployed to has been signed, and Emirates expects the credential will be in place for use at the more than 120 destinations it serves by October.
The IATA Travel Pass is also being trialed by SriLankan Airlines, starting October 1st, to enable contactless customer journeys and immunity status proofing through digital ID, writes local outlet Ada Derana.
The digital health pass will be implemented for flights between Colombo and London, Melbourne and Dubai.
The aviation industry’s recovery will be slow but steady, aided by technologies and infection-control measures that helped travelers continue flying during the pandemic, according to panelists at NEC Visionary Week 2021.
NEC’s digital platform has been implemented to over 1,000 systems in more than 70 countries around the world, NEC Corporation Senior Executive Vice President Norihiko Ishiguro said, noting that the company’s face biometrics no longer require travelers to remove masks.
Star Alliance CEO Jeffrey Goh stated the importance of governments recognizing vaccines consistently for the sector’s recovery.
“The key message we have been making is vaccinated travelers should not be subject to quarantine requirements,” said Goh, according to a company account of the event. “Technology has a role to play as to how we begin to find ways of removing restrictions and verifying your vaccination status and test results. How do we push these credentials to the passenger’s booking record? Perhaps biometrics has a role to play.”
The Face Express solution recently launched by Japanese aviation players, including Narita International Airport, was discussed. Face Express provides contactless check-in, bag drop, security gate and boarding processes.
The company is also trialing similar technology with an IoT system for payments at an airport, theme park, hotels and shops in Wakayama Prefecture.
A new project has been launched by Brazil’s Ministry of Infrastructure and the Federal Data Processing Service (Serpro) to adopt face biometrics without travel documents for several touchpoints in the air travel passenger journey. The new Safer Boarding Project initiative is explained in a post to International Airport Review by two members of the Infrastructure Ministry.
The convenience benefits and privacy protections of the system are presented, along with the alignment of airport biometrics adoption with international initiatives like the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO’s) Traveller Identification Program and IATA’s One ID.
The country is following along a similar path to the one India has taken with its Digi Yatra initiative. Digi Yatra and its history are explored by Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) Chief Strategy and Development Officer Satyaki Raghunath in a separate International Airport Review article.
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Emirates is to roll out the IATA Travel
Pass to all its destinations on six continents following successful trials launched
in April. The airline expects the roll-out to
be completed by October.
Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ chief operating officer, said: “Emirates continues to invest in technology and solutions, like
IATA Travel Pass, so that we can deliver smooth journeys and contactless
experiences for our customers while enabling our airport teams to handle
document checks efficiently and in compliance with regulatory requirements.”
Nick Careen, IATA senior vice president
operations, safety and security said: “Emirates’ implementation of IATA
Travel Pass across its global network cements its role as a key tool in
managing the complex myriad of health credentials required for travel. By
providing passengers with a one-stop-shop to demystify, manage and process
these credentials through a secure automated process, they can arrive at the
airport ready-to-fly using automated processes. This will avoid queuing and
congestion for document checks – to the benefit of travellers, airlines,
airports and governments.”
IATA Travel Pass enables travellers
to access more than 1,500 Covid-19 test labs while EU and UK citizens
can also register their vaccine certificate on the app.
Today’s vote is an expected victory for delivery workers.
Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images
Today, City Council is expected to pass a slate of bills meant to improve working conditions for New York City’s delivery workers. The package — a direct response to the activism of Los Deliveristas Unidos, a group of mostly immigrant delivery workers — would ensure delivery drivers bathroom access and minimum pay per trip, among other long-overdue protections.
“We’ve seen them face everything from COVID-19 exposure to waist-deep flood waters to violent attacks, all in a day’s work,” Councilmember Carlina Rivera, who’s worked closely with Los Deliveristas, told Grub via email. “The package of bills passing today marks a critical first step toward securing rights, protections, and justice for our delivery workers.”
It’s a big deal: The NYC news website The City, which has been meticulously covering the working conditions of delivery drivers during the pandemic, points out that this legislation has support not only from Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Cory Johnson, but also from at least one of the major delivery platforms. A spokesperson for Grubhub told the website that the company “supports the proposals … that would provide a number of new protections.”
What proposals, exactly? Here’s a breakdown of what could change:
Delivery workers will (finally) be allowed to use the bathroom
During the pandemic, the right to pee became a hot-button issue. Most other bathroom options had evaporated, and yet many restaurants wouldn’t let delivery workers use their bathrooms (even though, one might note, those same delivery workers were a lifeline for restaurants, which for months were prohibited from serving on the premises at all). New York City still won’t have an actual public-bathroom infrastructure, but a bill from Councilmember Rivera would require restaurants to allow delivery workers to use their restrooms as long as they’re picking up an order. Restaurants caught denying workers access would face fines — $50 for the first offense and $100 for every violation after.
There would be minimum per-trip payments
On average, delivery workers earn $7.87 an hour before tips, or about half of the city’s minimum wage, according to a recent report from the Workers’ Justice Project and the Worker Institute at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell. With tips, that goes up to $12.21 — still well below the minimum. A bill introduced by Councilmember Brad Lander is designed to change that by establishing minimum per-trip payments. Those minimums would be independent of any tips.
Apps would have to tell customers where their tips go
Any app that solicits tips would be required to disclose to customers exactly where that money goes. It would have to lay out how much of each tip goes to the delivery worker, in what form it gets to the delivery worker (is it cash?), and whether the tip is paid out immediately.
The apps would also be required to extend the same kind of transparency to delivery workers, who would be immediately notified if they’d been tipped, how much they’d been tipped, whether a customer had made changes to an existing tip, and, if a reason was provided, why. They’d also be required to inform workers how much they’d earned — in both compensation and gratuities — the day before.
Payment — and payment schedule — would be more regulated
This one is relatively straightforward: Delivery platforms wouldn’t be allowed to charge workers any fees to receive wages and tips, would be required to pay workers at least once a week, and would need to offer at least one payment option that doesn’t require a bank account.
Delivery companies would have to provide workers with insulated bags
Those ubiquitous thermal delivery bags? They’re an unofficial job requirement, workers say, and can run them up to $60 out of pocket. This
bill would require food-delivery apps to make the insulated bags available to any courier who’d completed at least six deliveries for the company and would prohibit companies from charging any money for the bags.
Workers could limit their personal delivery zones
A proposal from Councilmember Justin Brannan would allow delivery workers to set limits on how far they’re willing to travel for a delivery. It would also let workers specify whether or not they’ll accept trips over bridges and tunnels — known danger zones for e-bike couriers — without penalty.
This, according to the City, is “one of the thornier items” in the bunch, and in a statement, DoorDash expressed concerns about the bill, suggesting that allowing workers to opt out of certain areas could lead to discrimination. (For what it’s worth, the spokesperson did say the company recognized the “unique challenges” facing NYC delivery workers and would work with city officials.)
For Sergio Ajche, a Guatemalan food-delivery worker and organizer with Los Deliveristas, these bills are only the beginning. “These six bills will help workers, but they’re not enough,” he told the website. “Only time, each passing day will inform us what else we should change and demand. Every day more delivery workers are getting together and the movement grows. We’re making progress.”
City lawmakers are acting to aid workers in the booming multi-billion dollar app-based food delivery industry, scheduling a vote for Thursday on a landmark slate of bills intended to ensure bathroom access, minimum pay and more.
The proposals were sparked by the activism of Los Deliveristas Unidos, an labor organization of immigrant delivery couriers who kept New Yorkers fed during the pandemic. Supporters say the New York City effort to provide minimum working standards for app-based couriers is the first of its kind in any major U.S. city, and hope the measures will influence local governments nationally.
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday announced his support for the measures, which come as the city fends off dual lawsuits from delivery giants over previous New York CIty regulations on their business.
“The exploitation of delivery drivers is unacceptable,” Bill Neidhardt, a de Blasio spokesperson, told THE CITY. “City Hall wholeheartedly supports these bills to protect delivery workers and deeply appreciates the grassroots organizing of Los Deliveristas Unidos to make this possible.”
But unlike prior Council bills tied up in court battles, the new package has the full support of at least one app company, Grubhub.
The package of six bills would allow food couriers access to restaurant bathrooms, put limits on how far they can be asked to deliver, set minimum payments per trip and ensure that tips get to workers.
For the first time, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) declared his support Tuesday night.
“The basic human dignity of delivery workers, many of whom are immigrants, has been ignored for too long across the country,” said Johnson in a statement. “New York City is taking the lead in transforming this industry with a legislative package that will give deliveristas the rights they deserve.”
Sergio Ajche, a Guatemalan food delivery worker from Brooklyn and one of the leaders of the grassroots immigrant labor collective Los Deliveristas Unidos, said he’s feeling “happy and optimistic” over the expected approval of the bills.
“We have the support of a good group of elected officials, and that helps us muster strength to keep fighting. These six bills will help workers, but they’re not enough,” Ajche told THE CITY in Spanish. “Only time, each passing day will inform us what else we should change and demand. Every day more delivery workers are getting together and the movement grows. We’re making progress.”
The City Council vote comes nearly a year after THE CITY first reported workers beginning to unite over the perilous and exploitative nature of app-based delivery work, including lack of bathroom access, alleged wage theft, insufficient pay, and reports of muggings and robberies.
Restaurant staff denying bathroom access became a galvanizing issue in the early days of the pandemic, as indoor dining shut down, as did most other restroom options — and the takeout business boomed.
The bill from Councilmember Carlina Rivera (D-Manhattan) would require most restaurants to allow delivery workers picking up an order to use the bathroom if requested.
The measure also would grant the city Department of Consumer and Worker Protection the power to fine bars and restaurants that deny restroom access to couriers up to $50 on the first offense and $100 for every subsequent violation.
Rivera told THE CITY she’s been working with the Deliveristas for nearly two years to come up with a package of bills.
“Though this battle has been long and hard-fought, the fact that the Council will be voting on our legislation just a few short months after introduction is a testament to the organizing power and fierce determination of our city’s Deliveristas,” Rivera said.
The working conditions of app-based food couriers came under further scrutiny earlier this month when the remnants of Hurricane Ida barrelled down on New York City, dumping a record amount of rain, paralyzing mass transit and leaving drivers stranded on roadways.
Workers hauled outside in hip-deep water for meager pay as orders continued coming in. Images of food delivery couriers wading through the deluge quickly began circulating on social media, reigniting public conversation over hazardous conditions workers face.
Toño Solís, a delivery worker and member of the Deliveristas, told THE CITY that he earned just $5 for an hour-long trip to deliver a meal in Brooklyn from Astoria the night of the downpour, including tip.
He made just $115 during the 9.5 hour workday, roughly $12 an hour, with tips — lower than New York’s $15-an-hour minimum wage. The apps treat couriers as independent contractors, not employees, leaving them exempt from minimum wage requirements.
Council bill sponsors say the crisis for workers runs deeper.
“We shouldn’t have needed a pandemic, or a hurricane, for us to recognize that Deliveristas are essential workers who deserve essential rights,” said Councilmember Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn), who’s advancing a measure to regulate drivers’ pay.
How these so-called gig workers get classified by employers has become a major issue nationally. A New York State proposal that would have allowed gig workers to unionize but stopped short of reclassifying them as employees failed to gain support in Albany.
Last month, a California trial court dealt a blow to tech companies over a successful 2020 ballot proposition that allowed gig workers to be reclassified as independent contractors, ruling that it was unconstitutional.
A survey of 500 York City app-based food delivery workers released last week found that workers on average earn less than the state’s minimum wage and that pay is often unreliable, with money coming in late and tips whittled down or missing.
Food delivery workers reported earning an average of $7.87 an hour before tips and about $12.21 an hour with tips included, far less than the $33 food delivery company DoorDash claims its Manhattan couriers earn.
The bill introduced by Lander, who is running for city comptroller, would establish minimum per-trip payments for delivery workers, similar to protections that the city’s Uber and Lyft drivers already have in place.
The city Department of Consumer and Worker Protection would be obligated to study working conditions and then issue rules establishing minimum per-trip payments, which would not include tips. Another bill would require that food delivery apps disclose to customers what portion of their tip is distributed to workers, how the tip is paid to them and what amount of each tip is used to make up workers base pay.
Yet another measure would prohibit online delivery companies from charging workers any fees to receive wages and tips, as well as require them to pay couriers at least once a week and offer at least one payment option that doesn’t require a bank account.
Hildalyn Colón Hernández, director of policy at the Workers Justice Project, a Brooklyn-based center that represents the Deliveristas, said the Council’s package can serve as a “framework” for other municipalities.
The City Council’s package received an endorsement from at least one of the food ordering companies, Grubhub.
Chicago-based Grubhub, one of the major tech companies involved in the app-based delivery sector, said through a spokesperson that “Grubhub supports the proposals the City Council is currently considering that would provide a number of new protections.”
But the possibility of a legal showdown with other app firms looms large.
A federal lawsuit filed earlier this month by delivery giants that include DoorDash, Uber Eats and Grubhub claims earlier Council action to cap fees they charge to restaurants amounts to unconstitutional overreach.
Last week, San Francisco-based DoorDash filed a lawsuit against the city over a new law approved in August that requires delivery companies to provide customer data to the restaurants that fulfill the orders.
Uber Eats declined to comment. Relay, a smaller New York City-based food delivery company that works with restaurants, did respond to requests for comment.
One of the thornier items, according to people familiar with the discussions, is a proposal by Councilmember Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn) to allow delivery workers to set limits on how far they’re willing to travel for a delivery. They’d also be able to select which routes they want to take without fear their rating on the apps will decrease.
In an emailed statement, DoorDash said it had concerns with Brannan’s bill because it could lead to couriers to decline to deliver to some neighborhoods, leading to discrimination. DoorDash spokesperson Campbell Millum said the company recognized the “unique challenges” facing delivery workers in the five boroughs and would work with city officials.
“We will continue to work with all stakeholders, including the City Council, to identify ways to support all delivery workers in New York City without unintended consequences,” Millum said in an emailed statement.
Citing the survey released last week by the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Workers Justice Project, Brannan said the report was a “scathing indictment on this unregulated, unsafe, yet completely indispensable industry.”
He added: “We cannot sit back and allow companies worth billions to profit off the backs and bikes of exploited workers.”
Councilmember Carlos Menchaca (D-Brooklyn), who introduced the payment bill, said the measures highlight “the grotesque nature of the style of capitalism that’s connected to these apps.”
“That for me, has been just one example of what they’ve been trying to get away with,” Menchaca added. “And they’re no longer going to get away with here.”
Another bill to be voted on would require that the third-party delivery platforms supply workers with insulated delivery bags. The app-branded thermal bags can cost up to $60, workers told THE CITY, and are an unofficial requirement for the job to keep food hot before it reaches the customer.
Los Deliveristas Unidos plan to host an event at City Hall Park Thursday as the Council readies to vote, offering bicycle tune-ups, assistance with NYPD bike registration and help filling out applications for state pandemic financial assistance.
A growing number of riders originally from Bangladesh and other countries will be joining the largely Mexican and Central American Deliveristas, members say.
“Our vision is that this movement includes the flags of many countries — there’s no race or color,” Ajche said. “It’s for every delivery worker who identifies with our movement.”
Alabama scored on their opening drive, then held the Florida Gators offense to a field goal. On their second drive of the game, the top-ranked Crimson Tide managed to reach the end zone again to extend their lead 14-3.
Another 75-yard drive, this time on only seven plays, Bryce Young earned his second passing touchdown of the game on a pass to tight end Jahleel Billingsley, who brought the pass in and then had to tip-toe into the end end zone and avoid stepping out of bounds.
It almost seems too easy for this Alabama offense to travel the length of the field. This play certainly seemed effortless.