Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Singapore Airlines To Begin Universal Verifier App Trial For COVID-19 Tests At Changi Airport

A recent report suggests that Singapore Airlines (SIA) will begin trialing digital verification of COVID-19 tests at Changi Airport. The process aims to speed up immigration and also reduce fraud for flights that are travelling to and from the country.

CNA reporter Gwyneth Teo says that passengers from cities such as Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur can take pre-departure COVID-19 tests at their local clinics, which would then provide them with an e-test result or certificate. These documents will also include a QR code that will be required for the verification process upon their arrival in Singapore.

The aforementioned code will then be validated at Changi Airport via a third party application known as Universal Verifier, developed by Temasek-backed tech firm Affinidi. It is claimed to be the world’s first platform to allow airlines and immigration systems to verify different digital health passports, thus making it interoperable. The company says that the app is currently capable of reading eight types of QR codes, with more to be added.

Teo added that travelers will receive a soft or hard copy of the QR code for now, but SIA is planning to integrate them to its own mobile app sometime from mid-2021 for customer convenience. If proven successful, the digital verification trial is said to extend to other cities in the airline’s network. Affindi, on the other hand, envisions that its solution could eventually expand across the globe, especially once international flight operations resume accordingly.

An expected date of when Singapore Airlines plan to begin the process has not been provided at this time. With several countries already expressing interest in establishing travel bubbles in 2021, it is likely that the Universal Verifier trial in Changi Airport could commence soon.

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