From the month of January, all member states of the African Union (AU) will start using digital Covid-19 certificates as one way of eliminating travel restrictions that were occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
The new digital Covid-19 certificates will assist travellers to comply with Covid-19 travel protocols and share vital information to end double testing across the continent.
The application is from Econet Wireless and PanaBios and has been certified by AU and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
The application will also share information concerning the latest travel restrictions and entry requirements which are applicable to the entire stretch of a passengers’ journey across the African continent.
This new innovation is coming at a time when the African Union is working closely with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat to reduce the number of non-trade barriers in the wake of implementation of African free trade.
The AU has already sent a notice to all its member states on the digital Covid-19 certificates for the simplified health-related immigration processing for travellers and port officials, to ensure that the African continent continues to control and possibly reduce the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The application powers the Trusted Travel Portal, which contains information about the latest travel restrictions and entry requirements. This is a database of authorised laboratories and vaccination compliance material.
Several African countries are now experiencing a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic with a surge in cases reported daily. This has led to countries placing strict movement restriction within the countries.
Some African countries have begun assessing different COVID-19 vaccines available so as to commence procurement.
South Africa tops the continents chart of COVID-19 cases with a total of 1.37m positive reported cases so far. Of this number, 1.16m have recovered and sadly, 38,854 people have so far died of COVID-19 related cases.