In efforts to restart travel, five global airlines said they would be introducing digital health passports in order to facilitate passengers with negative Covid-19 test results and set the groundwork for a consistent approach to travel in the coronavirus age.
Dubbed the “CommonPass”, the new digital health ‘passport’ saves user’s Covid-19 test results on their mobile device together with any other health screening information mandated by the destination country. The app provides airlines and other entities with information on whether a passenger is virus-free and whether they have been vaccinated.
The pass, which generates a QR code and can be printed or scanned by airline staff to confirm passenger health status, isn’t mandatory for travel, but it is the first standardised format for Covid test results.
As of December 15, travelers flying with Lufthansa, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Swiss International Airlines, and JetBlue will be able to show airport staff their CommonPass as proof of their Covid status.
The digital pass was created by Swiss non-profit The Commons Project Foundation with support by the World Economic Forum.
Cathay Pacific Airways and United Airlines were the first to test the CommonPass in October on flights between Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and New York.
“Key to this will be a globally-harmonised approach underpinned by cooperation and consistency between all players in the aviation industry,” said ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira.
However, right-to-privacy advocates are questioning the decision.