Singapore uses blockchain to ease travel amidst pandemic

By Business Today

As blockchain revolutionises digital services, the technology is slowly gaining acceptance across sectors and countries. Singapore has become the latest entrant, using blockchain technology  to develop an inter-operable global standard for cross-border verification of COVID-19 test results that can help in easing travel amidst the pandemic.

The country’s Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) and Ministry of Health have together developed the standard, called HealthCerts, using blockchain.

From March 10, travellers undergoing pre-departure COVID-19 tests in Singapore will get their results in digital form as per the HealthCerts standard. The certificate will have to be notarised and it can be verified by immigration officials at airports which is likely to reduce the time taken for such verifications.

The notarised pre-departure test results will be available on SingPass mobile app, which allows online account management for access to Singapore government’s e-services. The Singapore government will also look to make vaccine certificates available on the blockchain technology based standard, Channel News Asia quoted Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore’s Minister-in-Charge of Smart Nation Initiative, as saying.

“The notarise system endorses locally issued certificates and the verify system enables checks on the authenticity of such certificates. We have open-sourced the HealthCerts standard and technology, and partnered private sector players to develop interoperable solutions,” the SNDGO said in a statement.

As of February 24, nine companies had been authorised to work with clinics in the country to issue certificates as per the HealthCerts standard.

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