This week, coronavirus passport trials are taking place at Heathrow to test technology that will allow people to travel around the globe without the risk of quarantine.
United Airlines and Cathay Pacific passengers are trying an app called CommonPass.
The phone software is a digital health passport that can contain a certified COVID-19 test status in a way that complies with the different regulations of different governments.
It was designed by the Commons Project Foundation's non-profit trust, part of the World Economic Forum, in the hopes that it will end the days of flyers producing scraps of paper, often in different languages.
The technology is in the testing phase, with volunteers deployed on flights between London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore under government observation.
However, it is seen as a longer-term measure to bring air traffic back to pre-coronavirus levels.
Dr. Bradley Perkins, Chief Medical Officer of The Commons Project, said, "Without the ability to trust COVID-19 tests – and ultimately vaccine records – across international borders, many countries will feel compelled to maintain full travel bans and mandatory quarantines for so long as the pandemic continues.
"With trustworthy individual health data, countries can implement more differentiated requirements for health screening for entry."
Hopefully the breakthrough in UK airport tests will be undone this week after ministers decided to launch another review of the problem.
The aviation industry had hoped that testing of new systems to reduce quarantine times for travel could begin tomorrow.
Government sources, however, said ministers were ready to set up a "task force" to deal with the issue instead, delaying hopes for action for weeks.
The new app allows you to securely upload your Covid test to view different countries
This is how CommonPass works:
Step 1: The person will be tested or vaccinated in an approved laboratory in their home country as soon as one becomes available.
Step 2: The results are sent to a local or national registry or "personal health record" such as Apple Health or Google's CommonHealth app.
Step 3: The app determines the current entry requirements for the destination where the laboratory test was carried out, as well as the result and whether the traveler meets the entry requirements of the country.
Step 4: The person sees whether they are approved for travel / entry into their destination country.
Step 5: The app generates a QR code that can be scanned by airline employees and border guards.
The pass works for passengers who take a test in a certified laboratory before uploading it to their phone. A QR code is generated that can be scanned by airline employees and border guards.
David Evans, joint CEO of the passport company Collinson, said the app could be a game changer.
He added, “When we grapple with living with COVID-19, testing is the safest scientific way to reopen countries and borders.
“However, as every country seeks the right solution to protect its citizens, we know that the ability to prove the validity of tests on arrival or before departure is key to reopening borders.
"The Collinson and Swissport COVID-19 test facility at Heathrow will support the CommonPass test by testing volunteers from United Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways."
Mark Burgess, Director of Process Improvement at Heathrow said: & # 39; For some time now, Heathrow has been calling for a common international standard to be established, and cross-border pilots like this could help governments around the world and industry to take advantage of testing use aviation.
"We look forward to reviewing the results of these studies and using the findings to support the recovery of an industry that offers so many jobs and economic opportunities around the world."
According to CommonPass, strict data protection principles are adhered to and developed to protect personal data in accordance with the relevant data protection regulations, including the GDPR.
It was launched by the World Economic Forum and The Commons Project in collaboration with a broad coalition of public and private partners around the world
Passengers can show the digital passport to the authorities to give them security
Heathrow Airport is one of the places where the new digital passport can be tested
Chaos as only 63 percent of 16,000 virus carriers are tracked
The search for nearly 16,000 people who tested positive for coronavirus but went missing due to a computer glitch yesterday remained confused.
Test and trace workers are still struggling to make up for the huge backlog caused by officials who chose an inadequate computer program.
Downing Street said 63 percent of positive cases were contacted at 9:30 a.m. yesterday.
However, the staff said there were still major problems with the system.
A source added that a single household had been contacted 75 times over the weekend.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted in the House of Commons that he was unable to confirm how many people were affected by the bug.
Labor asked how many of the estimated 48,000 contacts had now been traced, but Mr Hancock said the number would not be revealed until all the missing had been contacted.
Meanwhile, charity chief Mark Adams told MPs and peer nursing home tests that residents and staff will wait up to ten days for results.
The all-party group on coronavirus heard that the test system has been going "backwards" since the summer, putting thousands of residents at risk.
It is believed that Boris Johnson has asked ministers and officials to conduct a "quick review" of the feasibility of using tests to ease restrictions on travelers.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and Health Secretary Matt Hancock are expected to lead the review, which looks at how other countries are using testing to reduce quarantine times and whether the UK is able to follow suit.
The new body will also look for ways to breathe new life into the vital aviation sector.
Industry leaders are pushing for travelers to be tested at the airport and retested a few days later to cut the current 14-day quarantine period that is crippling the sector and ruining families' travel plans.
According to a government source, the pressure on testing capacity meant ministers would likely focus on a one-off test solution. Travelers were asked to quarantine for five or eight days before testing.
They defended the controversial quarantine regime, saying up to 10 percent of new cases in the UK were brought in from abroad during the summer.
The decision to initiate a review will upset the aviation industry, which has been campaigning for the change for months and offering to test its own systems.
It's also a blow to the Mail's "Get Britain Flying" campaign launched last month to encourage the Prime Minister to lift the "closed" sign over Britain.
But a government source insisted last night that the launch of the task force was a sign that ministers were finally taking the issue seriously.
"Everyone is getting the importance of international travel to the economy and business as well as people's lives – that's why it is being scrutinized," the source said.
'But we also need to recognize the limitations of the testing capacity and find the most effective solution. It will take a while. & # 39;
A Department of Transportation spokesman insisted there was no delay in airport testing plans, adding, "As we were clear, we are currently working with clinicians and health professionals on the practicalities of using tests to reduce self-isolation time for international arrivals . & # 39;
The move comes amid Tory's growing unrest over its strict travel policy, which requires people to be quarantined for 14 days when arriving from a "hotspot" country.
Italy, Sweden and Greece face potential restrictions later this week.
Meanwhile, a new study yesterday found that less than 1 percent of passengers tested positive after seven days in quarantine.
Research commissioned by Air Canada and conducted by McMaster Health Labs and the University of Toronto suggests that a two-test regimen might be a safe alternative.
About 13,000 travelers who arrived at Toronto Pearson International Airport were tested on arrival and had a second swab after seven days in quarantine.
Less than 130 tested positive, with 80 percent of cases being picked up on arrival – suggesting that a single test could detect most cases.
The rest – just a handful – were picked up seven days later.