Trial for sharing international travellers Covid test status set to start

7 October 2020 (Last Updated October 7th, 2020 11:06)

A pilot programme for sharing certified Covid-19 test status across borders will start this week for Cathay Pacific's flights between Hong Kong and Singapore.

Trial for sharing international travellers Covid test status set to start
The US Customs and Border Protection and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will observe trials. Credit: Business Wire.

A pilot programme for sharing certified Covid-19 test statuses across borders will start this week for Cathay Pacific’s flights between Hong Kong and Singapore.

Swiss non-profit The Commons Project Foundation is working with The World Economic Forum on the initiative, which seeks to allow safer travel and accelerate border reopenings.

The programme, named CommonPass, protects personal data in compliance with significant privacy regulations, including the General Data Protection Regulation.

Built on the CommonPass Framework, CommonPass is a digital health pass that helps travellers stay up-to-date.

Travellers are required to take a Covid-19 test at a certified lab to use CommonPass. The results must be uploaded to their mobile phone and then they must complete health screening questionnaires if mandated by the destination country.

Upon completion of the required processes, CommonPass confirms a traveller’s compliance with the destination country’s entry requirements.

The system then generates a QR code that can be printed for users without mobile devices. The code can be scanned by airline staff and border officials.

Apart from Cathay Pacific, United Airlines will also trial the CommonPass system with select volunteers on flights between New York and London later this month.

Plans also include the deployment of the system with further airlines and routes across Asia, Africa, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East.

Cathay Pacific Airways director of commercial Lavinia Lau said: “Our goal is to test and refine a system that would best support the progressive and safe re-opening of travel, through the adoption of a trusted and harmonised global framework.

“The CommonPass framework can incorporate specific requirements of individual countries and governments, and can be used to provide more assurance to travellers, as well as the population of destination countries.”