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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 09.07.2020, 11:56

New solution under development to enable access to relevant COVID-19 data for safe international travel

BC, Tallinn, 12.05.2020.Print version
The German service provider for digital health insurance, ottonova services GmbH; international strategic change and technology company from Estonia, Nortal; and UAE health data platform, inHealth are currently developing a system to facilitate smooth international travel during the global outbreak of COVID-19 with the working title Corona Travel App.

The application combines official immigration requirements of the traveler’s final destination, alongside individual health data from the user. Should users meet all necessary requirements and test negative for COVID-19, they will receive a statement that will be accepted from both transportation providers like airlines or shipping operators and immigration authorities to enter the country.

The solution minimizes preparation efforts for travelers, and operationalizes the COVID-19 test status for the travel industry and immigration authorities. The technology is an important step to ensuring international travel can be accessible while still meeting strict protocols to contain the spread of COVID-19.

How does the app work?

In six simple steps, the traveler can receive a certificate that allows them to enter their travel destination.

The user downloads the app, and registers with their travel documents, (i.e. passport or electronic ID), and checks the immigration requirements of their destination. Subsequently, the individual can either take a COVID-19 test from an approved facility, or input data from a recent test. The results of the test will be available on the application, and will be categorized to fit the requirements of the country the individual is travelling to.

The traveler can then provide the necessary information to airlines or immigration authorities, allowing them to board an aircraft and pass through immigration checkpoints, as both airlines and immigration officials can easily access their medical data. The same procedure accounts for any other kind of vessel like ferry or train services.

Using existing technologies for international business and leisure travel

At the core of the Corona Travel App is a decentralized storage of data controlled by the traveler and certified testing data, stored by accredited testing facilities. Airlines and immigration authorities can only access the data through receipt of a digital token, generated and controlled by the traveler, who can define how long and how much data third parties are able to access, making the app highly secure and simple.

The app and its wider management system is compliant with all necessary standards and data protection regulations. Each traveler has to agree with the data processing and the terms and conditions as outlined.

The system is designed to complement already existing individual solutions to track and reduce the spread of COVID-19 locally. While nation-wide approaches often include tracking, this proposed solution only focuses on sharing approved health data, and not sharing location data. The data is only available to third parties for a limited period of time, depending on the requirements of the country of arrival, and shall be deleted afterwards.

Dr. Roman Rittweger, CEO of ottonova, said: “The app is a cornerstone in bringing safe, international travel back to life. By using simple and highly-secure technological infrastructures and standardized APIs, we can connect travelers with airlines, immigration authorities and health testing facilities from all over the world in one go. At ottonova we have a wealth of experience of supporting our customers with digital solutions that are safe and GDPR compliant. We want to help them to use their health data in an easy fashion to enable them to navigate their travel needs during these unprecedented times.”

Taavi Einaste, CEO of Nortal in Germany and Partner of Nortal in Estonia, said: “COVID-19 outbreak has re-shaped nearly every aspect of our daily life, work and habits with only mere months. My Corona App aims to enable the responsible restart of travel world-wide by providing a secure and easy solution to validate traveler’s COVID-19 status, all the while putting the traveler in command of the data shared. Nortal has successfully launched cutting edge digital health solutions in UAE, Germany and Estonia, and can use this unique portfolio of experience to support the project.”

Ramzi Rahal, CEO at inHealth, commented: “The exchange of related health information across borders is essential to smoothen travelers’ journeys in this fluid global situation. At inHealth, we seek to exchange and deliver health related information at the right time to the right place, with the concern of an individual’s wellbeing lying at the center of our services. We are motivated to collaborate with our global partners and fight COVID-19, helping to contribute to the recovery of the travel industry through the exchange of related health information with the medical industry.”


The solution will be available for use shortly. In parallel, the partners are in discussions with government’s officials and international companies to implement the solution. Further stakeholders are invited to join discussions about use cases and possible partnership structures.

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