Digital Health Passport

Heathrow and Newark Airports Test Digital Health “Passport”

This year’s pandemic has led to unprecedented changes in the world of travel. From museums like the Louvre going digital, to Brazil’s Island Idyll for Covid-survivors only, a lot has changed in the realm of tourism. The latest in a string of new Covid related trends? A digital health “passport” that aims to smooth wrinkles in pandemic era travel. The “health passport” as its been coined is currently being tested on flights between London’s Heathrow and Newark Liberty in New Jersey. Currently, there is no mandatory quarantine when flying from the UK to the US. However, there is one when flying in the opposite direction. Under the current trial, CommonPass users will not be able to bypass current government restrictions. But the goal with CommonPass will be to scale back government restrictions in the long run.

Digital Health Passport

London and New Jersey Airports Trial COVID Passport

The Swiss nonprofit The Commons Project developed the digitalized health pass known as CommonPass in conjunction with the World Economic Forum. So far, it’s been presented to 37+ governments worldwide and aims to reignite global tourism that is both responsible and efficient. At present, there is no exact protocol for tests worldwide. Results are often printed on paper, written in foreign languages and have no regulated format or lab requirements – the CommonPass changes all that. Based on the flyers destination, it will confirm all compliance and ensure that they are meeting all entry requirements. In just a few steps, it verifies the origin of the test results and whether or not the visitor will need additional health screening based on their destination. Finally, visitors will be provided with a QR code. Once at the airport, travellers will have the QR code scanned and be given entry.

Diane Sabatino, Deputy Executive Director of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had this to say: “Travel and tourism has been down across the board due to the Covid pandemic,” – “CBP wants to be part of the solution to build confidence in air travel, and we are glad to help the aviation industry and our federal partners stand up a pilot like CommonPass.”

CommonPass’s Digital Health Passport Could be the Solution for Tourism in a Post Pandemic World

In a world where tourism is seeming to limp day after day, Common Pass may be just the solution needed. By providing a designated source that airports around the world can trust, governments can feel more comfortable loosening their grip. Ultimately, CommonPass would function as both a global health and travel platform encouraging the two to work hand in hand. The trial taking place between London and New Jersey serves as a critical moment for the future of CommonPass. The hope of eliminating blanket quarantines and travel restrictions seems to hang in the balance.


Lastly, the folks over at The Commons Project also understand it’s now more important than ever to trust health privacy. Especially across international borders. The CommonPass promises that their pass allows individuals the utmost privacy and will not share any further personal health data. Users need only to consent to the details required to verify the lab results without revealing any other health information.

Melanie Hamilton

Melanie is an avid traveller with a passion for history and global foods. She is currently based in Tbilisi, Georgia where most of her time is occupied with qvevri wine and Soviet history. Having do-si-do'd her way across Europe and Latin America, she's enjoyed some of the world's most exciting places firsthand and can't wait to tell you about them.

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