Singapore to provide a digital solution for COVID-19 (RT-PCR) testing for cross-border travel

08 July 2021 | Thursday | News

VFS Global, Unifier and Accredify announce strategic partnership in digital health credentials for a seamless and safe cross-border travel experience
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VFS Global, Affinidi's Unifier and Accredify have announced a strategic partnership to provide an end-to-end digital solution for COVID-19 (RT-PCR) testing for Singapore bound travellers from Indonesia. With the gradual easing of restrictions by countries while ensuring the safeguarding of public health and traveller safety, a smart and reliable COVID-19 testing and verification solution is now a prerequisite for restarting international travel. The partnership will provide a convenient solution for all travellers who are required to undergo pre-departure testing - a mandatory requirement for travellers entering Singapore from countries classified as high risk.

VFS Global, Accredify and Affinidi's Unifier are leveraging their strengths and capabilities in the healthcare, travel and technology space to provide a secure and reliable solution to stakeholders within the travel ecosystem. This starts from enabling travellers to seamlessly book their mandatory pre-departure COVID-19 swab test and keep a copy of the swab's results online via VFS Global's network of accredited laboratories. With Accredify's tamper-proof HealthCert solution, the traveller's test results can be used for verification purposes by relevant authorities. Unifier then enables airlines and immigration authorities to digitally verify the authenticity of the COVID-19 test results using a simple QR code scan and matching the health credentials against entry requirements of the destination country.

Commenting on the partnership, Mr Jiten Vyas, Regional Group COO, VFS Global, "A convenient and reliable pre-departure COVID-19 testing solution will be a catalyst in the recovery process of international travel as the restrictions continue to be stringent compared to domestic travel. We are pleased to partner with Affindi and Accredify to provide a seamless booking system to get a reliable COVID swab result that is accepted by airlines and immigration authorities to verify an individual's COVID health status. We now offer ease of access to a much-needed and verified solution and also support a safe restart of international travel in the coming months."

Ms. Gina Chiang, Affinidi's VP & General Manager, Safe Travel Initiatives said, "As borders re-open, we have seen an explosion of different technologies, standards and formats for the verification of health credentials. Our aim with Affinidi's Unifier is to provide an interoperable solution that enables immigration authorities and airlines to verify COVID-related health credentials in an efficient, accurate and privacy-preserving manner, while also enhancing traveller experience. We are committed to working with global stakeholders to build a trusted global ecosystem for international travel, and we are pleased to be collaborating with VFS Global and Accredify on this important initiative."

Mr. Quah Zheng Wei, CEO & Co-founder, Accredify, noted, "Following IATA's announcement that personal travel could return in the second half of 2021, there is a need for services which provide travellers with a seamless process of pre-travel preparation and authorities with an efficient solution to facilitate the regulated health screening of travellers. We're delighted to partner with VFS Global to realise this solution for both travellers and authorities, beginning with the Southeast Asian and East Asian region."

With the use of Unifier and HealthCerts tamper-proof swab result, the duration it takes for airline staff and immigration authorities to verify a passenger's COVID-19 test result is greatly reduced while awarding assurance to authorities within seconds. This enables a more efficient and convenient travel experience for both travellers and border authorities. Unifier, a web-based application by Affinidi, enables airlines and immigration authorities to authenticate digitally verifiable test results using a QR code scan. HealthCerts was co-developed by Accredify to resolve the issue of fraudulent COVID-19 test results as well as black markets selling COVID-negative test results and to provide an internationally recognisable standard to verify a traveller's COVID health status. As governments, airlines and local authorities require support with implementing COVID-19 testing, VFS Global offers seamless service for travellers through its network of strategic medical partners and authorised laboratories, accredited by Governments, across 270 cities in 45 countries by leveraging the Validated Digital Health Credential solution that was introduced last year.


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