RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have launched an electronic health passport for travel between the two countries.
The Saudi Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding between the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority and the Bahrain Information and e-Government Authority to enable the electronic document.
It will help verify and match traveler information on King Fahd Causeway for citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain for COVID-19 related health requirements.
The health passport was introduced by the SDAIA in January last year and has since been upgraded to show a PCR result and a travel insurance policy for coronavirus risks.
It also links the passport to border systems, verifying traveler health eligibility when issuing the boarding pass and integrating with IATA transportation systems to display travel requirements. The objective of the SDAIA is to improve the electronic health passport to the point that it can be recognized as an official document worldwide.
Last July, Saudi Arabia’s Tawakkalna app announced the inclusion of a feature in the electronic health passport to review insurance policy data approved by the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia and the Insurance Council. illness, which covers risks of COVID-19 outside of Saudi Arabia. The feature aims to facilitate travel procedures.
In November, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain signed an agreement to activate the Health Passport and realize the technical integration between the Tawakkalna and the Bahrain app BeAware Bahrain.
The aim is to facilitate the movement of travellers, citizens and residents between the two countries via the King Fahd Causeway.
It also makes it possible to verify their compliance with the health procedures and requirements in force in the context of the fight against COVID-19.
The collaboration between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain aims to ensure the implementation of bilateral prevention and control measures in the fight against the disease.
The electronic link between the two countries is expected to speed up the completion of travel procedures. It will also allow people working at King Fahd Causeway to immediately verify all personal and health data of travelers, in addition to improving the level of protection and confidentiality of all data.
Bahraini writer Najat Shwaiter said the agreement helped provide a database with “accurate information and high reliability”.
“It’s important because it preserves the privacy of travelers in particular,” she told Arab News.
She said the e-passport would save time and effort for travelers and “also for employees working with authorities in the border area between the two countries.”
Shwaiter stressed the importance of the e-passport as it was part of the preventive measures to fight the coronavirus, while also ensuring the movement of travelers between the two countries within their health requirements.
She also believed that the move would boost digitization and help reduce paper transactions.