There may be light at the end of the travel corridor as an international pilot project called The Commons Project, supported by American Express Global Business Travel, United, Cathay, Collinson and more, prepares to launch in the next couple of weeks.
The trial will involve a test run of a digital health passport called CommonPass, and a framework that sets standards for lab results and vaccination records, as well as a system that allows different countries to set their own health criteria for entry.
The purpose is to enable safer airline and cross-border travel by giving travelers and governments confidence in each traveler’s verified Covid-19 status.
The project is being run by the Commons Project Foundation, a Swiss-based non-profit public trust, and the World Economic Forum. The Commons Project was established with support from The Rockefeller Foundation.
Cathay Pacific Airways and United Airlines will trial the system, with select volunteers on flights between London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Cathay’s first trial is a flight between Hong Kong International Airport and Singapore Changi International Airport, using rapid testing technology provided by Prenetics.
For United, volunteers will use CommonPass for flights between London Heathrow Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport. At London Heathrow, tests from private testing company Prenetics will be administered by Collinson in Covid-19 testing facilities set up with its partner Swissport.
What gives this particular scheme extra kudos is that it’s being officially “observed” by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Greg O’Hara, founder of Certares and executive chairman of American Express Global Business Travel said: “CommonPass can give travelers the clarity and confidence they need to start moving again.”