Caribbean Island Taps Blockchain for COVID-19 Health Credential System

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Authorities in the Caribbean island of Aruba have joined forces with and SITA to trial a distributed ledger technology (DLT) based COVID-19 health credential solution. With the new system, visitors who have tested negative for the virus will receive a digital certificate, which gives them free access to shops, restaurants, and other attractions on the island.

Putting COVID-19 Spread Under Check with Blockchain 

While the COVID-19 war is far from over, as nations like India, and a host of others have been overwhelmed by the virus in recent weeks, Aruba, one of the Lesser Antilles islands located in the Southern Caribbean Sea, is banking on blockchain technology to bring back normalcy to the once buzzing tourist attraction.

According to a press release, SITA, a  leading specialist in air transport communications and information technology, and, a firm that claims to be a leader in the development and hosting services for decentralized identity, have joined forces with the Aruba Health Department to trail a blockchain-based COVID-19 health credential system.

Dubbed the Aruba Health App, the team claims the DLT-powered solution makes it easier for travelers to the island to share their health status privately and securely via their smartphones, allowing COVID-negative tourists to move without restrictions on the island.

Making it Work

The authorities have made it clear that visitors are required to provide a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before their arrival in the region and the Aruba government will then issue a unique trusted traveler credential using blockchain technology. 

The unique digital credential of each tourist can be easily verified at hotels, restaurants, entertainment centers, and other tourist attractions in the region through a QR code on a visitor’s mobile device, without accessing or sharing their private data.

Commenting on the project, Diana Einterz, SITA President for the Americas reiterated that the new solution will definitely help in fast-tracking the tourism industry’s recovery, adding that:

“It is vital we ensure we open borders safely and securely, and this trial puts us one step closer to a single travel token that will give passengers more control and convenience by allowing them to securely share their credentials with authorities, airports, and airlines right from their smartphones.”

Several entities, as well as governments, have been exploring blockchain technology for COVID-19 test verification and vaccine traceability in recent times.

As reported by BTCManager earlier in April 2021, South Korea announced plans to launch a blockchain-based coronavirus certification system that will enable seamless verification of vaccination status of residents via mobile phones.

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