A smartphone app that could make it easier for international airline passengers to show that they met the Covid-19 test requirements has been successfully tested.
The test was organized by the Swiss Project Foundation in Switzerland, in an attempt to help people fly again after the pandemic reduced global air travel by 92%. Volunteers on United Airlines Flight 15 from Heathrow in London to Newark Liberty International Airport were tested at the UK airport.
The results were presented to officials upon arrival in the US on the CommonPass digital health permit, stored on volunteers’ smartphones.
How the CommonPass application works
“CommonPass allows travelers to test before they travel, upload their results to the CommonPass, and then document that they have been tested, meeting other requirements for the countries they travel to,” said Paul Meyer, CEO of the Commons Project Foundation. .
The pandemic has led to a series of travel bans, quarantines and testing requirements, with each country imposing its own rules.
Testing is seen by airlines as a way to reassure passengers and allow people to get out of quarantine, but there is no common approach so far.
When it comes to testing, passengers can present paper documents in different languages and from laboratories unknown to authorities in a particular country, says Meyer:
“Previous methods were people appearing with paper sheets, test results or medical records with vaccination records, and there was no way to verify them. Of course, there have been cases of false certificates. “
“What CommonPass is doing is turning this into a secure electronic mechanism so that airlines and countries can actually trust that people who claim to have been tested have actually been tested.”
“We are trying to build a platform and an ecosystem that will restore the confidence of travelers, which gives countries confidence to start opening their borders again,” Meyer added.
The CommonPass project, conducted in cooperation with the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, aims to establish standard ways of verifying laboratory results and subsequently vaccination records, even if governments continue to set different health criteria.
Passengers can use the app to find participating labs and test sites, retrieve lab results, and fill out health forms.
The application and the associated data platform can confirm that their results comply with the requirements of the destination and generate a QR code that the authorities can use to confirm compliance.
The foundation says this system protects privacy, because people do not have to share their health information, only compliance or non-compliance.
In addition, the CommonPass could be implemented by countries without waiting for a wider international agreement.
The system is intended to be adaptable whenever the requirements change.