Flying during pandemic times just got a bit more convenient for iPhone users traveling on United Airlines.
On Friday, United announced that it would allow iPhone users demonstrate they’ve been vaccinated against covid-19 using the Apple Health app. In order to take advantage of this new service, you must be running iOS 15, which allows individuals to download their verifiable health records and covid-19 test results—via SMART Health Cards—and store them in Apple Health.
Although travelers within the U.S. do not need to be vaccinated to travel domestically, other countries, including the UK, Canada, France, and Spain, do require proof of vaccination or negative covid-19 tests.
Using United’s new digital shortcut seems straightforward and easy. First, you need to download the United app for iOS. Once that’s done, 9to5Mac explains, go to the airline’s Travel-Ready Center and select the option to upload vaccine documentation. Then, click on “Upload” and choose “Share your SMART Health Card.”
Apple will proceed to ask your permission to share your health information—only the information you choose to share will be shared—and send that the info to United. The airline will verify the records and store them until you complete your trip.
As you might have guessed, not everyone will be able to take advantage of United’s new digital shortcut. It will all depend on whether your health care provider and state have adopted the SMART Health Card specification. Some states, such as Hawaii, California, Louisiana, New York, and Virginia, already offer SMART Health Cards.
Currently, the SMART Health Cards are only available in the Apple Health app, which can be used to share the information with approved third-party apps. However, in an upcoming software update, Apple says that users will be able to add a covid-19 vaccination card to their Apple Wallets.
Gizmodo reached out to United for comment on Friday but did not receive a response by the time of publication. We’ll make sure to update this blog if we hear back.