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This App Could Help Safely Resume International Travel

by Eben Diskin Oct 8, 2020

International tourism still hasn’t rebounded despite growing demand, partly due to the difficulty of assessing the health of travelers. Every country has its own health standards and protocols, and health certifications may be written in foreign languages that destination airports are not able to understand or certify. CommonPass, a new digital health pass created by the World Economic Forum and the Commons Project, is set to change that.

CommonPass would create a common, global framework for COVID-19 test results, converting them into a standardized format that can be carried on a mobile device. It would allow destinations to set specific health screening requirements and enforce them by checking the CommonPass. Passengers would carry digital proof of their PCR test or COVID-19 vaccination, which they would then present to the appropriate authorities. The app would allow individuals to access lab results and vaccination records, and then use that information to validate their health status.

If the CommonPass proves successful, it could give countries around the world the confidence to open their borders to international travel, knowing that there is a standardized, global method of certifying passengers’ health status.

The pilot version of CommonPass is currently being trialed by Cathay Pacific Airways and United Airlines on select flights. A full rollout of the app is being planned for the start of 2021.

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