United Airlines will be testing a digital health passport on Wednesday as part of a global pilot program to expedite safer opening of international borders and boost global travel.
The CommonPass system is a non-profit initiative supported by the World Economic Forum and the Switzerland-based foundation The Commons Project.
As part of the study, volunteers at United Airlines
The flight from London Heathrow to Newark Liberty International, New Jersey on October 21, performed a COVID-19 test up to 72 hours prior to travel and logged the results of a certified laboratory in the CommonPass app on their phones.
You will also use the app to perform additional screening measures, e.g. B. a health declaration that may be required by the destination country. The app then generates a quick response code that airline employees and border guards can scan.
The Newark Airport trial will be under the watchful eye of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, who are waiting for passengers when the flight lands.
If that works, the digital passport could help countries reopen their borders and allow the resumption of international travel that was ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.
At the height of the pandemic in April, 194 countries put visa restrictions in place and 143 closed their borders to contain the spread of the coronavirus World health organization.
Since then, some countries, including Singapore, Australia and Japan, have started to gradually relax travel restrictions as coronavirus cases slow down and they try to revive their economies.
Thomas Crampton, Commons Project Marketing and Communications Director, said COVID-19 test results are currently often shared on printed paper from unfamiliar laboratories and written in languages foreign to the inspectors.
“Today we show that you can document the COVID status in a certified way across international borders in a private space– –preserve Wise,” Crampton told MarketWatch.
Sandy Morris, a stock analyst at Jefferies, said neither COVID tests nor vaccines are a silver bullet. “The combination of rapid tests, vaccines and the CommonPass digital health pass could offer a way forward.
“The open question is how quickly a digital solution like CommonPass can be deployed. We assume it will be quick, ”added Morris.
CommonPass said if trials prove successful, it will quickly roll out to additional airlines and routes in Asia, Africa, America, Europe and the Middle East.
The health passport is adaptable and allows governments to update their entry requirements as the science of the pandemic advances. By generating a unique, verifiable and secure QR code, users can document their COVID status, but not their personal health information.
The first test of the digital health pass took place on a Cathay Pacific in early October
Flight between Hong Kong and Singapore Changi Airport.
The news comes a day after Heathrow Airport opened its first pre-departure test facility in the UK. Passengers flying from London Heathrow to Hong Kong and Italy can now get quick COVID-19 tests before check-in.
The test, which can be booked online, costs £ 80 ($ 104) and results will be available within 60 minutes.
International consolidated airlines
owned by British Airways, Virgin Atlantic (49% owned by Delta Air Lines
), and Cathay Pacific will be the first airline to offer the test facility.
“Ultimately, we need a common international standard for pre-departure testing and we welcome the recent announcement by the UK government that it will take global leadership in establishing that standard,” said Heathrow Managing Director John Holland-Kaye of the new standard Test facilities.