Amid the novel Coronavirus, one cannot help but worry about its spread while traveling. So, governments and healthcare providers have come up with a plan to verify the identities of customers along with their COVID reports. There are varying degrees of restrictions put in effect in many countries; for instance, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Greece pay heed to the same problem. The crux of these new regulations is that the customers will provide a negative COVID report not older than a predefined threshold of time before boarding at the airport or upon arrival in another country.
The travel industry is being hit hard as the pandemic extends itself to 2021. According to a UN report, the tourism and travel industry is facing a financial loss of $1 trillion. The industry has fraudsters on its back as it is, and the advent of COVID-19 has severely hampered its growth. The on-and-off travel bans and lockdowns present a perplexing situation for the consumers.
Surely, the importance of health cannot be overlooked and takes precedence against financial losses to the travel industry. But, business activities still need to take place and consumers have to travel. Hence, the authorities have enforced strict rules regarding air travel for consumers and businesses. People will only be allowed to travel by plane given they are not infected with Coronavirus.
Airlines are involved in various types of severe crimes, for instance, in money laundering, human trafficking, terrorist financing, etc. Theft bonus credits and chargebacks are also causes of great worry for these businesses. Airlines have to walk on a straight line regarding compliance restrictions and regulations, otherwise, they get penalized with financial fines and various business restrictions.
On top of that, they are now required to adhere to these new travel rules. Even if the airline has installed a system to verify the COVID status of their customer, any COVID-positive consumer bypassing the terminal checkpoint will make the airline liable to pay hefty fines. Thus, it is not an option for the travel industry to verify the identities of customers along with their COVID status.
As it has been established that air travel businesses have to comply with these rules, some airports are sticking to manual verification of reports provided by the customers. The problem with this method is that some customers are so desperate to travel that they submit false COVID reports and present them to the airline official.
Moreover, some bad actors steal someone else’s old report and manipulate them to pass through terminal checkpoints. Then, it becomes a health liability for the foreign country which is trying so hard to control the spread of the Coronavirus.
Since the COVID report verification has become an obligation for the travel sector, manual means of verification have been adopted for now.
Other Sectors where COVID Report Verification is Required
These restrictions are not for the air travel sector only. Here are some other places where COVID report verification is essential:
All these places are highly crowded and the spread of the virus is very easy. Hence, these areas have been guided to obtain a negative COVID report from all the customers and ensure the safety of everyone.
The automated identity verification services are already providing authentication services to the travel industry and specifically airlines. Every legitimate COVID report contains a barcode. So, by using artificial intelligence technology, these services can read the report’s barcode. The barcode contains the customer’s information which is matched with a government-issued identity document i.e, a passport to confirm that the report belongs to the traveling customer. This is the most authentic way of performing COVID report verification.
Currently, the COVID report verification is being performed manually. However, this takes a lot of time and is prone to errors as well. Extracting data from the barcode is not a piece of cake and manually doing it is a big challenge.
It is high time that digital identity verification services are employed by the airline industry. Verification of identity coupled with COVID results demands a secure, smooth, and accurate solution. It is no longer a matter of finances for the travel industry but health and sickness for the masses, in these hard times.