Passengers on United Airlines and Cathay Pacific traveling out of Heathrow Airport will begin testing a new ‘COVID passport’ that in the future will check if someone has been vaccinated before they travel.
The technology is called CommonPass and will let people travel without being quarantined if they download an app to their phone which contains a negative COVID test or a vaccine certificate.
“The phone software is a digital health pass which can hold a certified COVID-19 test status or show someone has been vaccinated in future in a way designed to satisfy various governments’ different regulations,” reports the Daily Mail.
Overseen by the Commons Project Foundation, part of the World Economic Forum, the pass works by having flyers upload their COVID test or vaccination certificate to the app which then generates a QR code that can be scanned by airline staff and border officials.
“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,” said Dr Bradley Perkins, chief medical officer of The Commons Project.
The issue of whether people who refuse to take a coronavirus inoculation will be refused international or even internal travel is likely to come to fore as the world moves closer to a COVID-19 vaccine.
As we highlighted last month, British Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to use the military to ship the vaccines across the country and set up regional distribution hubs as well as developing a “national database to track progress and issue the vaccination certificates.”
The MP said the vaccination certificates “will probably have to be internationally recognized in order to allow travel, international travel.”
Earlier this year, the Mayor of Nice also called for citizens to be required to carry “health passports” if they wish to travel, while Germany is also considering mandating “coronavirus immunity cards” that would allow those who have developed antibodies to COVID-19 to have more freedom than the as-yet uninfected.
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