As taking a COVID-19 test becomes a mandatory requirement to gain entry to most countries around the world, it is becoming clear that the coronavirus pandemic has changed international travel for the foreseeable future. However, travel is set to become easier in 2021 following the development of the CommonPass project.
The CommonPass is a new digital health pass that will allow the COVID-19 vaccine and testing history of travelers to be collected in one place, and more easily comply with the requirements of airlines and protocols in place at international airports.
The CommonPass travel health app has been jointly developed by The Commons Project, a non-profit organization, and the World Economic Forum, based in Geneva, alongside over 350 public and private partners from 52 countries worldwide.
The director of marketing and communications for The Commons Project, Thomas Crampton, said that the app was developed in order to have an easy way to present health credentials every time the holder needs to travel, with the knowledge that COVID-19 vaccines are soon to be widely available.
It will allow authorities to easily confirm the traveler has been vaccinated against the virus, with Crampton explaining, “You can take a test every time you cross a border. You can’t get vaccinated every time you cross a border”.
How the Digital Health Pass Will Work
The CommonPass app will act as a digital health passport and allow the user to upload medical information including Covid-19 test results and information such as where the traveler received a vaccine and the administrating medical professional.
Using the data supplied by the user, the app then generates a QR-based health certificate which can be presented upon demand at airports and border entry points. It may also be possible/necessary to present the QR code to gain entry to venues such as cinemas, stadiums, or concert halls in some countries.
The CommonPass travel app will create a globally-interoperable platform that assesses if the test results and vaccine record of the user comes from a trusted source as well as if the information meets the necessary health requirements of the country the traveler wishes to visit.
With vaccines against coronavirus already available in several countries around the world, including Sputnik V in Russia, and the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in the United Kingdom, Mexico, Chile, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica, the app is set to become an indispensable tool for frequent travelers in the months ahead.
Benefits of the CommonPass Travel Health App
One of the most impressive features of the CommonPass Covid-19 app is the fact that it will allow the user to protect their personal health data while sharing enough information to comply with the necessary entry requirements.
This is because the CommonPass platform provides authorities with a simple yes/no answer as to the user’s current COVID-19 status without revealing any other health information.
The platform has also been designed to allow the securely stored information to be accessed through other personal digital health apps, such as Apple Health and CommonHealth, as well as existing medical data systems and national and local registries.
The fact that the CommonPass has been developed by a nonprofit public trust also means that is an open and independent service that is not bound to the interests of any government or commercial enterprise.
Although the CommonPass app is currently in trials and has not yet been released, it is expected to be launched in early 2021 and will be available through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store on any portable mobile device.