COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill. Tourism, aviation, hospitality are few sectors that have been badly hit by the pandemic. Several months have passed and things are slowly starting to look up, even for the aviation sector, which is the last to have been revived amid the lockdown. But people are paranoid, scared and skeptical of flying again. After all, the thought of sharing a closed space with tens of strangers 35,000 feet in air in view of COVID-19 can be daunting. What if we told you it doesn't have to be.
CommonPass will bring peace of mind to both travellers and governments through a digital platform to verify COVID-19 status of individual crossing borders. Currently, travellers must carry printouts of their test results in foreign languages too for inspection. But the lack of an international standard makes it a challenge for authorities as well as travellers. Things could change for the better soon.
What is CommonPass?
CommonPass is a brainchild of a tech startup, which will start testing a digital solution with select airlines, including Cathay Pacific and United Airlines, in London, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong. CommonPass is merely a platform, which means they won't conduct any COVID tests. Rather, they would establish standard certifications for COVID-19 test results, which can serve as a valid proof that an individual has tested negative for the virus or has been vaccinated against the contagion.
How does it work?
CommonPass bridges the communication gap between governments, airlines and travellers. The platform can be used by governments to upload COVID-19 requirements in a standard format, which can be accessed by passengers. There will be a list of medical labs that are CommonPass-enabled for COVID tests and possibly a vaccine in the future.
Passengers can simply upload their test results to the app before flying, which then converts it into a QR code that can be scanned to make way through immigration. This not only ensures seamless travels but also keeps your health details safe.
"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 harmonized global framework," said Lavinia Lau, Director Commercial of Cathay Pacific Airways. "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."
The system has got a lot of positive response, not just from potential flyers, but from governments and airlines who are willing to get onboard this seamless process. Even the Saudi officials have shown interest in using CommonPass for next year's Haj pilgrimage, which is the world's biggest travel event attracting nearly a million people.