What Is A “Health Passport” and How Will It Work? — PouchPASS
The evolution of new diseases and viruses has highlighted the need for more technologically advanced products to allow us to carry on with our daily lives safely. Commons Project, The World Economic Forum, and a wide coalition of public and private partners are collaborating to launch a trusted platform for travelers to document their COVID-19 status to fulfill country entry requirements.
This new digital “health passport” was inspired to help get people back flying after the pandemic sent global air travel down by 92% in 2020. Trials have begun and its initial phase involved volunteers on United Airlines Flight 15 flying from London’s Heathrow to Newark Liberty International Airport tested at the UK airport for COVID-19. The results were then shown to officials on arrival in the U.S. on the digital health pass, stored on volunteers’ smartphones.
Testing is a great way to reassure passengers and allow people to skip quarantines, but there’s no common approach to this method as it varies according to different countries. Results are often presented in documented papers that contain vaccination records with no concrete way of verifying its authenticity.
Airports have reported instances of passengers’ producing fake certificates too. A digital app is more secure in comparison as it isn’t easily manipulated. This makes the “digital passport” a secure electronic mechanism that airlines and countries can be fully confident that people who have gotten tested actually did get tested.
The aim is to restore confidence to travelers and countries to begin opening up their borders again. Testimonials from some of the volunteers from the first test run revealed a fuss-free process of a five-minute procedure, and results were ready within 30 minutes.
The actual barcode and the health pass will be available on the mobile app and it includes full details of the test, what the testing entails, and the overall results of it. Passengers can use the app to find participating labs and testing sites, retrieve lab results, and complete health forms. The system protects privacy because you won’t have to share your health information.
Could this be a game-changer for the travel industry? Watch this space for updates.
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Originally published at https://pouchpass.com on November 23, 2020.