Is the new COVID digital health passport solution to international travel problems?

Is the new COVID digital health passport solution to international travel problems?

Travel is one thing that the year 2020 stole from humans, and restricted every individual to their houses. The pandemic has affected the world of travel and tourism like no other. Even after seven or so months, a significant percentage of people are still apprehensive to travel the world like before. Now, a Swiss-based nonprofit, the
Commons Project and the World Economic Forum has developed a digital health passport, which was tested recently on a flight from London to New Jersey on trial basis.

What is the new digital health passport?

The digital health passport, also called the
CommonPass, allows travellers to offer certified COVID-19 test info to border officials upon arrival at any destination. The proposal of a digital passport is being presented to 37 governments (and more) in order to restart travel amid the pandemic.

On October 21, volunteer travellers reached the Newark Liberty International Airport by using CommonPass on their phones and sharing their COVID-19 results with airline staff.

It was the first successful transatlantic trial of the health passport. Upon arrival, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were also present at Newark airport to observe the efficiency of the process.

Troy Miller, CBP’s director of field operations in New York said, “The COVID pandemic has brought down travel and tourism across the board. CBP is happy to observe the efforts and be a part of the solution to build confidence in air travel and are encouraged by this CommonPass pilot.”

How does it work?

Two things are critical to making this arrangement successful: first, identify which COVID-19 tests and lab results are considered credible and second, each government must determine the entry requirements. After these things are established, the CommonPass will create a digital network with certified labs and COVID results can be uploaded on the website.

Such trials are the need of the hour as the future of the travel and tourism industry depends on a concrete solution unless a vaccine for the virus arrives.

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