The CommonPass ‘fit to fly’ test system has been successfully trialled at Heathrow, paving the way for an internationally recognised Covid health certificate. Olivia Palamountain reports

After a successful trial on a recent Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Singapore, the CommonPass digital health certificate and app has been extended to London Heathrow airport.

CommonPass, devised by a Swiss-based non-profit foundation and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, has been designed to create a global framework that can be used by countries to demonstrate that passengers are safe to travel. Airlines will pay to use the service.

Passengers travelling on a United Airlines flight from London Heathrow to New York Newark took part of in a trial of the system last month, with hopes for CommonPass to become the international standard for Covid-safe air travel in the future.CommonPass appBacked by the World Economic Forum (WEF), passengers on the trial flight were required to take a Covid-19 test at Heathrow no more than 72 hours before travel, then complete the health screening questionnaire demanded by US border authorities.United CommonPassTest results were then logged on an app, which if negative, generated a QR code for airline staff and border officials to scan without the need for additional documentation. The process of securing a refund for the flight after testing positive was unclear.United CommonPass“From a user perspective, [it’s a] very, very simple process,” said JD O’Hara, CEO of Internova Travel Group and one of the volunteers on the first transatlantic flight from Heathrow to use the CommonPass app. “Within 30 minutes [of taking the test], our results were uploaded.”   CommonPass

Paul Meyer, CEO of the Commons Project, the company that designed the system, said countries that have closed borders and imposed quarantines are looking for ways to “thoughtfully reopen” their borders.

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