According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, global tourism shrank by 97 percent in April and hasn’t seen much recovery since. COVID-19 flare-ups around the world occurred when countries began to slowly open their doors again to visitors, forcing them to reimpose quarantine measures and, in extreme cases like Melbourne in Australia, severe lockdowns.
Health experts believe that a new health passport app might just be the solution that the travel industry and avid travellers around the world have been waiting for.
What is a COVID passport?
Dubbed as a health passport, the new CovidPass app will hopefully eliminate the need for quarantine at destinations for healthy travellers and restore travellers’ confidence to want to travel.
The app was invented by Mustapha Mokass, one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders, with input from other young global leaders from around the world like Peggy Liu and Muna Abu Sulayman.
When asked how he came up with the idea, Mokass said that simply providing a variety of different testing regimes to validate the health of travellers wasn’t enough to reassure tourists or health authorities.
How does it work?
The CovidPass app or health passport stores encrypted data from travellers’ blood tests using blockchain technology. Travellers are then able to show these results as proof of whether they are COVID-19 positive or negative, and subsequent measures can then be taken.
Unlike contact tracing apps, CovidPass will not track users’ movements, which is a major privacy concern with other contact tracing apps.
Set to launch in September, Mokass hopes the app will become a standardised solution for airports, airlines, and border agencies. He believes it could also be used successfully by hotels, sporting and concert venues, the conference and exhibition industry, and the entertainment industry to safely reopen.
Successful application of CovidPass could also go along way towards injecting some life back into the tourism industry, which has suffered devastating losses.
Also read: Take a walk on the wild side: Top tips for guided safari walks
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