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First blockchain-based health certificates issued at Changi Airport

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International SOS, the International Chamber of Commerce, and AOKpass Pte. Ltd. have announced the first use of ICC AOKpass to provide a digitally verifiable COVID-19 health certificates for entrance to Singapore. From businesswire.com, the site reports that the ability to authenticate health records at border points of entry will help to facilitate the safe and efficient resumption of international travel during the global pandemic.

The new protocols were put to the test in December by a Singapore citizen returning from Japan on Singapore Airlines. The passenger successfully used the ICC AOKpass for the first time, to officially present a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (“PCR”) digital test result for arrival verification at Changi Airport’s immigration counters.

This event was the first time an immigration authority has used a blockchain based, digitally verifiable health certificate. Several of Singapore’s palyers in the healthcare space were involved in the groundbreaking event, including Shinagawa East Medical Centre, who issued the digital certificate on ICC AOKpass, which was scanned by Affinidi’s Universal Verifier solution at Changi Airport.

Following the successful pilot program, all travelers, starting with 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.

In the past, paper certificates have been used for Singapore border crossings. Businesswire’s report suggests that “the advent of digitally verifiable certifications represents a quantum step forward in the security and safety of international travelers [sic]. Digital verification of COVID-19 health status has been difficult because of the need to incorporate testing labs, airlines and immigration processes within a single technology”

Since December 23, travelers from Malaysia and Indonesia have had dedicated immigration lanes at Changi Airport, to digitally verify their health credentials using the ICC AOKpass app. Before departure to Singapore, passengers using the process 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.

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