One of the pieces needed to get travel, and global travel in particular, going is easily accessible, inexpensive, accurate and rapid coronavirus testing. Things are going in the right direction with progress being made in each of those categories, albeit at a slower pace than everyone would like to see.
For the countries that are reopening after keeping borders closed, or mostly closed, since the beginning of the pandemic, one of the things required to get through immigration is a negative COVID-19 test from right before your trip.
The problem with requiring testing is that there is no worldwide standard. Either you have to submit the information electronically on a different system for each country or airline. A lack of standardization means it’s challenging for someone to know how to input their test results or the current entry restrictions.
The Commons Project saw how this problem would be a roadblock to the re-opening of the worldwide economy. Bringing together government officials, along with technology, healthcare and travel companies, they developed a standardized framework for reporting, storing, and verifying if a traveler has met the requirements for travel.
The result is CommonPass.
Each country will provide its current entry requirements, including a negative test result. Travelers will need to get a test at an approved lab that will report the results to either a government database or private entity (like Apple Health or Google’s CommonHealth). This guarantees to countries around the world that a reliable source did the test.
A traveler will then need to answer questions required by the country and if everything checks out, they will receive a QR code that can be scanned by airline staff and border officials. The framework is designed to be integrated into other platforms, so I’d imagine an airline or immigration department could add this to their apps.
The first test of the CommonPass system is happening this week for passengers on Cathay Pacific flights between Hong Kong and Singapore and United Airlines flights between London Heathrow and Newark.
If the pilot program is successful, the plan is to expand to other airports and destinations.
CommonPass also has the capability to track vaccination records, so you can store that information once a COVID-19 vaccine is available. I’d imagine it would also be able to track other immunizations for areas of the world that require them for entry (i.e., Yellow Fever.)
All of these entities’ ability to come together and quickly develop a framework that works worldwide to streamline the now disparate and ever-changing entry requirements is impressive. I’m sure there will be some glitches at the launch so it’s good that flights on these routes aren’t very full right now. I hope this program works because systems like this bring us one step closer to re-opening the world for everyone to travel freely.
Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and get emailed notifications of when we post. Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group – we have 15,000+ members and we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!
This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary