It has been over six months since Australia instituted a historic travel ban that prevents most people from leaving the country.
For many, that means six months of personal upheaval and separation from loved ones; for others, the frustration of unfulfilled wanderlust.
While Australia’s outgoing travel restrictions are among the most strict anywhere, all nations are struggling with how to move past blanket bans and resume international travel.
And some nations think they have the answer.
Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States and Chile are among the countries that are looking into so-called ‘immunity passports’ or ‘COVID-free passports’.
It is now being floated as a ‘solution’ that could unlock world travel sooner than a vaccine arrives.
In collaboration with The Commons Project, the World Economic Forum is supporting the development and launch of CommonPass, an initiative which aims to “develop a global, interoperable framework to safely restore cross-border travel to pre-pandemic levels”:
“The CommonPass framework can incorporate specific requirements of individual countries and governments, and can be used to provide more assurance to travellers as well as the population of destination countries.”
The app was developed by the Commons Project Foundation with the support of WEF, and it is hoped the digital passport will bring the countries of the world closer to reopening their borders.
According to the project, users would upload their coronavirus test results onto their phone, with the app generating a barcode to be scanned at the airport.
“Individual national responses will not be sufficient to address this global crisis,” the World Economic Forum’s Christoph Wolff said.
“Bans, bubbles and quarantines may provide short term protection, but developed and developing nations alike need a long-term, flexible and risk-based approach like CommonPass.”
CommonPass will be used to streamline the process of entering a country from overseas.
And it has already started in some countries.
The CommonPass ‘health passport’ is now being piloted by a small number of passengers flying from the UK to the US under plans for an international framework for ‘COVIDSafe air travel’. ….