Mukudzei Chingwere-Herald Reporter
Zimbabwe yesterday launched an online Covid-19 results verification platform called Trusted Travel Platform aimed at strengthening systems of cross-border travel requirements, as well as assuring the integrity of certificates and will be available for use from today.
Only certificates obtained on the platform or verified on the Global Haven systems will be valid for exit or entry into Zimbabwe.
Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Professor Amon Murwira, as the acting Minister of Health and Child Care, launched the travel platform.
He said international travellers were required to produce evidence of a negative Covid-19 test at points of entry, but now there was a need to strengthen the system and to harmonise cross-border requirements by assuring the integrity of certificates presented.
“The African Union, Africa CDC and other partners, working with PanaBIOS as technical leads, have introduced the Trusted Travel Initiative to support AU member states harmonise and enhance their current health screening systems,” he said.
“Trusted Travel offers an online digital platform for the verification and authentication of Covid-19 test results based on a collaborative effort across a network of participating Covid-19 testing laboratories and Port Health authorities.
“This platform allows for the detection of counterfeit travel documents and also enhances cross-border collaboration and confidence in Covid-19 results originating from other countries.
“This platform further provides updated information on entry requirements and travel restrictions for participating states.”
Prof Murwira said the Ministry of Health and Child Care was happy with the platform.
“We are confident that this platform will ease travel for both travellers into and out of the country,” he said. “Newly accredited laboratories can be found by visiting the Trusted Travel portal and creating an account at trustedtravel.panabios.org.
“To find accredited laboratories, travellers must indicate their current origin and intended destination.”
Prof Murwira said when a test has been run, the laboratory generates a Trusted Travel test (TT) code that can be verified by airlines and port health authorities to confirm that the test came from an accredited laboratory.
He said travellers will then receive a text message from PanaBios and an email from the testing laboratory with a link that will allow the traveller to create an account at trustedtravel.panabios.org and access the TT code.
“Travellers must ensure when creating an account to access the results reported by the laboratory that they use the same email address and phone number that they gave to the laboratory,” said Prof Murwira.
“If the test results issued satisfy the full requirements set by Zimbabwe and the country of destination (for example, validity period or test type) then a Travel Code (TC) will be issued to the traveller online for presentation to airlines and port health authorities.”
Prof Murwira said whilst the TT code confirms that a test was performed by an accredited laboratory, the TC provides additional evidence that the test performed is still valid at the time of travel since results can expire and regulations may change at any time as the pandemic evolves.
“When travellers present themselves to their port of departure or arrival, the port health officials will use the clearance code (TC) provided to verify that their results meet all other requirements beyond having been issued by an accredited lab,” he said.
“Inbound-travellers with results from non-Trusted Travel compliant laboratories will be required to upload a copy of their results on the Global Haven System (www.globalhaven.org) for authentication.
“Uploading forged documents will undermine the ability to travel globally.
“Travellers encountering challenges with use of the Trusted Travel and Global Haven systems are assured of technical support if they send an email.”