Cross border travel during pandemic needs to be safe, predictable and shouldn’t reveal too-much informations on personal health details.
Several industries have been hit hard, when restrictions were enforced on cross border travel during COVID-19 pandemic. Malls and shopping centres are temporarily shut down, affecting the retail and e-commerce industries.The strict emphasis on the need for social distancing means that everyone is expected to stay at home. This means that the travel industry will bear the brunt of the infection as countries impose travel bans all over the world.
The pandemic’s impact on cross border travel
We can see a major impact on domestic traffic growth as domestic travellers have started cancelling or rescheduling their tickets. Many organizations have reported a 30 per cent or more drop in domestic travel this summer compared with last year.
Ever since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as a pandemic, the restrictions imposed by the governments on travel are becoming tougher. The most recent report shows that, out of 217 destinations worldwide:
- 45% have completely or partially closed their borders for tourists — “Passengers are not allowed to enter”.
- 30% have suspended international flights — “all flights are suspended”.
- 18% are banning the entry for passengers from specific countries of origin or passengers who have transited through specific destinations.
- 7% are applying different measures, such as quarantine or self-isolation for 14 days and visa measures.
The only way to change the course of this pandemics is through the use of the right technology, to get started this article would be helpful:
Challenges and risks in opening up cross border travel
If governments lift travel restrictions and allow people from different countries to enter their borders, there is a very large chance that a person coming from another country will unknowingly bring the virus into the destination country. This means that the restrictions imposed on travel will have to stay in place until the virus is completely eradicated from all around the world. However, this would severely affect the economy. There are many people who are stuck in foreign countries due to closed borders and this means that governments will need to open their borders at some point irrespective of the risks of infection.
In such a scenario, how will we be able to enable cross border travel during pandemic?
The only way to do this would be to issue a digital pass according to the health status of the holder. The pass would indicate whether the person is infected by the virus or not. This would allow governments to screen healthy travellers from infected ones.
Pandemic Proof Passport
Rebuild The Chain, a pandemic management system developed by Accubits has a Pandemic Proof Passport feature that enables countries to open up their borders for travel even if there is a pandemic going on. This feature provides users with a health card that is generated after exposure analysis and a health diagnosis by the local health authorities. The people who have a ‘No Risk’ health card will be able to travel overseas. The user can simply scan the QR code at an airport or at public areas to confirm their health status for the authorities.
The main steps that are followed while issuing a health card are as follows:
- Exposure analysis of users based on their recent activities such as places visited, people contacted, etc.
- Health diagnosis conducted by local health departments to define the health status of the user.
- Health card generation, which will be a QR code that can be printed out or displayed in the mobile app upon request by authorities.
- Health status validation bt scanning the QR code.
The platform is implemented such that all the data is securely stored and abides by the data and privacy laws of the region. Data that is related to the location, and routing are stored on secure and encrypted servers in each country, complying with the official data protection laws. The actual data remains with the user while only a hashed form of it is stored on the network.
Needless to say, it is of utmost importance that governments begin implementing such platforms to enable domestic and international travel. Countries will need to reopen their borders soon, and this cannot be done without placing certain security measures to ensure that the spread of infection is contained.
To get a better understanding on this topic, read this article: