Safe travel app trial to begin as alternative to coronavirus quarantine rules

A groundbreaking coronavirus health passport is due to be tried this week as Prime Minister Boris Johnson is increasingly urged to kick off airport tests for travelers.

CommonPass software is used by passengers traveling from London Heathrow to New York after successful testing in the Far East.

Passengers on a United Airlines flight from Heathrow to New York Newark take a Covid-19 test up to 72 hours before departure and log the results in the CommonPass app on their mobile phones.

The app, which is developed by the Switzerland-based non-profit organization Commons Project and supported by the World Economic Forum, creates a QR code that can be scanned by airline and border personnel.

Passengers take a Covid-19 test in an agreed laboratory, upload the results to a smartphone and carry out all additional health examinations required by the destination country.

US health officials plan to oversee the test at Heathrow and the process is set to be extended in the coming months, Travel Weekly reports.

Steve Morrissey, United Airlines Vice President of Regulations and Policies, said, “Trials with solutions like CommonPass are critical to uncovering the potential for testing as an alternative to blanket quarantine or travel restrictions.”

Mark Burgess, Director of Process Improvement at Heathrow added: “Heathrow has called for a common international standard to be established. Cross-border pilots like these could help reap the benefits of aviation testing.

“We look forward to reviewing the results of these studies.”

The British travel trade group Abta previously called for the introduction of a suitable test regime as well as a regionalized quarantine approach and the lifting of the global notice against travel – back to providing travel advice for individual countries based on the risk to a traveler at the destination.

The managing director Mark Tanzer has called for the introduction of raids before departure on the virus.

Earlier this month, he said, “Other countries have already rolled out testing and further delays will only exacerbate the industry’s struggles – especially as the winter season is fast approaching.”


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