Finally, a mobile app to restart international travel

After months of lockdown, the Covid-hit economy has gradually begun to recuperate. While other industries, with support from governments, are picking up speed to return to ‘normal,’ the tourism sector has remained stagnant, resulting in zero business for travel professionals. This has led to a domino effect, affecting related industries like food, hospitality, events, and attractions.

After months of uncertainty, it now appears that the fag end of 2020 looks promising for travel trade. Earlier this month, a new mobile app called CommonPass made its foray into the sector, hoping to reopen borders and restart international travel. The good news is that the trials for this app have yielded positive results. This means, if the world governments collaborate and take rapid recovery measures to implement the app, we could be spending the holiday season in our dream destination.

The CommonPass app: 5 things you need to know

Backed by World Economic Forum, the CommonPass app is an initiative of The Commons Project (TCP), which recognizes the need for the travel industry to rethink how to approach and prioritize the health and safety of both passengers and staff. As per the information extracted from the TCP website, the CommonPass is not a vehicle for getting a COVID-19 test. Instead, it is merely a mobile tool that allows travelers to show airline officials their test results. Here are 5 things you need to know:

  1. The CommonPass app works on both Apple and Android phones. (Apple Health for iOS, CommonHealth for Android). Apple Health and CommonHealth will let travelers store their health records securely and privately on their phones, entirely under their control.
  2. The app allows travelers to access their lab results and vaccination records, and consent to have that information used to validate their information.
  3. The app’s framework will assess whether the traveler’s lab test results or vaccination records come from a trusted source, and satisfy the health screening requirements of the country they want to enter.
  4. The framework delivers a simple yes/no answer as to whether the individual meets the current entry criteria, but the underlying health information stays in the individual’s control. The framework is being designed such that it can be accessed directly through other apps and services.
  5. CommonPass helps stakeholders like airlines verify compliance with COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements put in place by governments while giving individuals complete control over their own health data.

The trial for the app proved to be successful when, on Wednesday, passengers aboard the United Airlines flight from London Heathrow airport to New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International, volunteered to be part of the trial. It remains to be seen how soon governments of the world will embrace this mobile technology and make it easier for us to travel.