Looking to travel next year? You may need more than just the coronavirus vaccine.
Some companies and technology groups are working to create apps for your phone or systems for you to upload information about COVID-19 tests and vaccines that can, in turn, create a virtual pass that could be used to let you onto flights or into sporting events, concerts or movies.
The Commons Project, The World Economic Forum and a coalition of public and private entities are reportedly collaborating to launch CommonPass, “a trusted, globally-interoperable platform for people to document their COVID-19 status (health declarations / PCR tests/vaccinations) to satisfy country entry requirements while protecting their health data privacy.”
According to its website, CommonPass provides a place for individuals to access lab results and vaccination records, as well as consent to have that information used to validate their COVID-19 status without giving away any other underlying personal health information.
The platform can assess whether your lab results or vaccination records come from a trusted source and satisfy the health screening requirements of the country you want to enter.
The website says CommonPass can deliver a simple yes or no answer on whether or not you meet the entry criteria.
“The purpose of CommonPass and the Common Trust Network is to enable safer airline and cross border travel by giving both travellers and governments confidence in each traveller’s verified COVID-19 status.”
This isn’t the only digital COVID-19 pass that we could see in the near future.
IBM has also created its Digital Health Pass, which is designed to provide organizations with a way to bring people back into workplaces, schools, stadiums and flights.
According to IBM, “the solution is designed to enable organizations to verify health credentials for employees, customers and visitors entering their site based on criteria specified by the organization.”
They added that the “the digital wallet” can allow individuals to keep control over their information and share it securely.
Linux Public Health has begun deploying two COVID-19 exposure apps — COVID Green and COVID Shield — in Canada, Ireland and multiple states, including Colorado and Wisconsin.
Apple and Google previously co-created “exposure notification” technology to alert phone users if they spent time near someone who tests positive for the coronavirus.
The technology relies on Bluetooth short-range radio signals to detect when two phones are in close proximity long enough for someone to likely transmit the virus. Most states measure that close contact as within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes at a time.
As the vaccine continues to be distributed across the nation, there haven’t been any regulations requiring you to have a vaccine to enter venues, states or countries, though there are some states that require you to test negative for COVID-19 or quarantine before or as you enter.