Holidays: ‘Coronavirus passports’ trialled in UK could put end to 14-day quarantine rules

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A new “coronavirus passport” could help Britons travelling abroad avoid the UK’s stringent quarantine rules. The “Covid passport” or CommonPass will allow travellers to document their COVID-19 status which can then be shared across borders. Britons will be able to take a coronavirus test at a certified lab and then upload their results on their phones for their coronavirus passports.

They will still have to fill out a health questionnaire if one is required by the country they are visiting.

The mobile phone app will be able to confirm to the destination that they have met entry requirements.

A QR code will then be generated for airlines and border control officials to scan.

The “coronavirus passport” will be tested this month, in a promising move for Britons’ holidays.

The test flight will be between London Heathrow and New York (Newark).

The coronavirus passport test flight will have volunteers who will be joined by government officials.

There will also be another trial between Hong Kong and Singapore.

The Commons Project, the minds behind the test, say the “coronavirus passport” will allow “safer airline and cross border travel by giving both travellers and governments confidence in each traveller’s verified COVID-19 status.”

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Trials with more airlines and across other routes could take place in the future.

Mark Burgess, Heathrow’s Process Improvement Director, said: “For some time now, Heathrow has been calling for the creation of a Common International Standard and cross-border pilots such as these could help governments across the world and the industry to unlock the benefits of testing in aviation.

“We’re looking forward to reviewing the findings of these trials and using the learnings to support the recovery of an industry that provides so many jobs and economic opportunities globally.”

Currently, Britons are relying on a travel corridor list on where to travel to.

Britons have to quarantine for 14 days when they return from countries that are not on the quarantine exemption list.

However, Yesterday, the government revealed it would be creating a task force to develop a coronavirus testing system for travellers arriving in the UK.

The government said the group will “identify options to reduce the self-isolation period while protecting public health”.

The UK’s travel sector has repeatedly called for testing at airports to be introduced as a way of reducing the quarantine periods for those who get a negative result.

The Global Travel Taskforce will work with industries on how to implement testing and identify options to help reduce the self-isolation period.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The current measures at the border have saved lives.

“Our understanding of the science now means we can intensify efforts to develop options for a testing regime and help reinvigorate our world-leading travel sector.

“This new task force will not only help us move towards safer, smoother international travel as we continue to battle this virus but will also support global connectivity – helping facilitate more Covid-secure travel whilst protecting the population from imported cases.”

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