Providing a traveller’s COVID-19 test results directly to the authorities responsible for managing a country’s border, overcomes a major problem with many current travel protocols, which rely on people carrying test and vaccine certificates. Those certificates need to be checked and many can be faked relatively easily, especially the paper-based versions. This is a major issue for many border-security forces, as they are responsible for physically inspecting certificates prior to granting access. The process can lead to long queues on the border whilst health or immigration officials seek to validate documents. However, if the authorities can be provided with data they trust ahead of arrival, which is what OK2Roam provides, the traveller can be pre-cleared and given access to a fast-track entry lane.
The first country where this will be trialled is the Caribbean Island of Aruba.
When the system becomes operational, travellers entering Aruba, who have taken a test with a qualifying lab, will not have to wait in line for their COVID-19 test certificates to be checked at the border; instead, they will be pre-cleared and free to enjoy their holiday sooner. The advantage for the Aruban authorities will be more efficient processing of visitors, which will save time and money, and improved biosecurity. It will also help the government of Aruba tackle the problem of people arriving with invalid or faked health credentials.
How it Works
The system works by virtue of a collaboration with VFS Global, which, early in the pandemic, acted swiftly to build a global network of government-approved testing laboratories, comprising hundreds of collection points in 271 cities, in 46 countries and growing. When booking a pre-travel COVID-19 test, the traveller consents to his or her test results (if clear) being fed directly from the lab to their destination. The authorities in the destination undertake to trust the results because they have come direct from the lab and are therefore difficult to interfere with.
VFS Global is the world’s largest visa outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide. It is trusted by 62 governments, including Australia, Canada, China, India, Korea, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, UK, USA and most EU and Schengen member states.
OK2Roam’s integration-friendly technical platform provides the interface between VFS Global’s lab network and the destination.