Most countries currently have restrictions in place barring non-essential travel, and health authorities recommend staying home. But what about those who anticipate a trip across international borders in the future? There are a slew of ever-changing requirements, from mandatory quarantine periods to Covid-19 test requirements. For instance, travelers going from the U.S. to France can be refused boarding without a negative test result taken less than three days before departure. Meanwhile, travelers to Belize can board with or without a negative test result. But what if there was an app to store your COVID-19 test result?
The Commons Project, a nonprofit developing systems for patients to store and share their health data, is developing a tool for travelers to check international travel requirements and share the needed documentation. It’s partnering with the World Economic Forum to bring this system to 52 countries. Currently, Covid-19 test results are shared using a piece of paper — or simply a photo of the document, which can leave room for confusion. The platform, called CommonPass, assesses whether an individual’s results meet a country’s health screening requirements.
How The CommonPass App Works
Travelers can upload their test results, health declarations and vaccination records to the system. Information can be pulled in from national registries or health record apps, such as Apple Health or CommonHealth. CommonsPass says the system does not share any underlying personal health information; users’ health records are only stored on their phone.
“Without the ability to trust Covid-19 tests – and eventually vaccine records – across international borders, many countries will feel compelled to retain full travel bans and mandatory quarantines for as long as the pandemic persists. With trusted individual health data, countries can implement more nuanced health screening requirements for entry.”
– Dr. Bradley Perkins, Chief Medical Officer of The Commons Project, said in a news release.
The Commons Project and the World Economic Forum tested the system on a United Airlines flight from London to Newark, NJ. It was also tested on a Cathay Pacific flight between Hong Kong and Singapore. In November and December, the Commons Project plans to implement the tool in additional routes, CEO Paul Meyer stated. The U.S. is still restricting entry for people who have been in the following areas in the past two weeks: UK, Ireland, the Schengen zone, Iran, Brazil or China.