‘Covid passports’ that could help you avoid quarantine being trialled in the UK

A new ‘Covid passport’ is being designed that could help travellers avoid having to quarantine.

The CommonPass will allow travellers to document their certified Covid-19 status, and share it across borders.

Holidaymakers will be able to take a Covid-19 test at a certified lab, upload the results on their mobile phone and then fill out any additional health screening questionnaires required by their destination country.

The app will confirm that you have met the entry requirements, and will generate a QR code that can be scanned by airlines and border control officials.

The new pass will be tested in October on a flight between London (Heathrow) and New York (Newark) on board United Airlines flights.




Passengers on board will be volunteers, joined by government officials who will observe the process.

It will also be trialled on a route between Hong Kong and Singapore operated by Cathay Pacific Airways.

The developers behind the venture, The Commons Project claim that the pass will “enable safer airline and cross border travel by giving both travellers and governments confidence in each traveller’s verified COVID-19 status.”

There are plans to roll out trials with more airlines, on routes across Asia, Africa, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East.



Woman waiting for her flight

Mark Burgess, Heathrow’s Process Improvement Director, said: “For some time now, Heathrow has been calling for the creation of a Common International Standard and cross-border pilots such as these could help governments across the world and the industry to unlock the benefits of testing in aviation.

“We’re looking forward to reviewing the findings of these trials and using the learnings to support the recovery of an industry that provides so many jobs and economic opportunies globally.”

At the moment, there is no standard format for Covid-testing, and many countries have their own requirements. (If you do want to travel, make sure to check the latest FCDO advice for your destination before planning, booking or going on a trip).




The CommonPass is being launched by the World Economic Forum and The Commons Project.

Christoph Wolff, Head of Mobility at the World Economic Forum, said: Individual national responses will not be sufficient to address this global crisis.

“Bans, bubbles and quarantines may provide short term protection, but developed and developing nations alike need a long-term, flexible and risk-based approach like CommonPass.”

Currently, Brits are often required to quarantine for 14 days when they return from a destination which doesn’t feature on the Foreign Office’s list of travel corridors – and in some cases, holiday destinations which allow Brits still require a 14-day quarantine on arrival.

However, the UK government has recently launched a new taskforce to look at whether airport testing could be used to cut the 14-day quarantine rules currently in place.

Other possible alternatives could also include going into self-isolation before you travel internationally.

source.



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