International SOS successfully pilots digital health certificates app at Singapore’s Changi Airport

This will facilitate faster immigration checkpoint clearance for travelers, enables more hassle-free travel, and reduces risks of crowds at the airport.
By Dean Koh
10:05 pm
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Credit: Affinifdi

Health and security services provider International SOS and ICC AOKpass announced in late December 2020 the successful pilot of the ICC AOKpass mobile app at Changi Airport in Singapore. The app will help to facilitate the safe and efficient resumption of international travel during the global pandemic.

ICC AOKpass is a mobile app launched by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), International SOS, SGS Group and co-developed with Singapore-based start-up AOKpass.

HOW IT HAPPENED

On 21 December 2020, a Singapore citizen returning from Japan successfully used the ICC AOKpass to digitally authenticate negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results, for arrival verification at Changi Airport’s immigration counters.
 
This was the first time that a returning Singaporean has used a digitally verifiable health certificate that was verified by Affinidi’s Universal Verifier at Changi Airport. Following the successful pilot program, all travelers from Malaysia and Indonesia will now be able to use ICC AOKpass to digitally authenticate their COVID-19 test results, as well as any other necessary health credentials during immigration at Changi Airport.

From 23 December, travelers from Malaysia and Indonesia will have dedicated immigration lanes at Changi Airport, to digitally verify their health credentials using the ICC AOKpass app. Before departure to Singapore, passengers will need to check the Singapore SafeTravel website for travel requirements, then book a pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test at healthcare providers that issue digital health credentials through secure mobile apps like the ICC AOKpass.

These travelers will each receive their test result with a unique QR code in their ICC AOKpass app, which authenticates and securely stores their negative COVID-19 test results.

WHY IT MATTERS

Upon arrival at Changi Airport, these travelers can use the dedicated immigration counters to swiftly verify their health credentials by scanning the given QR code in their ICC AOKpass app. This facilitates faster immigration checkpoint clearance for travelers, enables more hassle-free travel, and reduces risks of crowds at the airport. At the same time, authorities will be able to combat incidents of COVID-19 test fraud and implement a global standard for travelling, which will further enhance efforts to ensure the safe resumption of global travel.

In the coming months, the pilot program will be progressively rolled out to other international travelers, allowing for a quicker, hassle-free entry into Singapore.

THE LARGER TREND

British cyber technology company VST Enterprises (VSTE) launched a public ‘fit to fly’ health passport designed for air travel, MobiHealthNews reported.

The cross-border platform called V-Health Passport can be downloaded and used alongside any form of COVID-19 testing and vaccination that does not use unsecure bar codes and QR code technology. It aims to validate a passenger’s identity and authenticate their COVID-19 test result and vaccination details in one app.

ON THE RECORD

“The new pilot program is yet another important milestone in the resumption of global travel during the COVID-19 outbreak. We began pilot tests of the ICC AOKpass for Singapore-based employees of International SOS in May 2020. With the adoption of ICC AOKpass at Changi Airport, alongside a growing number of partner healthcare clinics and laboratories around the world, we are hopeful that this secure technology will be instrumental in establishing a trusted and standardized global system to facilitate the return to work and travel across all industries, with Singapore at the forefront of these efforts,” said Juliana Gim, Managing Director of International SOS Singapore.

Dr Chester Drum, Co-founder of AOKpass, said, “As we look towards the revival of widespread international travel and trade, there is an urgent need for a common framework in certifying, authenticating and securing the results of a COVID-19 test for air transport stakeholders and local health authorities. In addition, users must trust that their data privacy is managed well, with no risk of personal data leaks. This new pilot program is a critical step in combating the challenges of forged tests and medical records, while enabling quick and secure verification of COVID-19 test results for travelers to have peace of mind throughout their journey.”

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