Aruba is teaming up with OK2Roam and VFS Global to launch a new service that eliminates the need to make travellers wait for their PCR test results to be manually verified and the need to upload test certificates.
In partnership with OK2Roam, travellers can authorize an approved laboratory to send their negative test result directly to Aruba’s Embarkation-Disembarkation card entry platform and be confident that it will be instantly accepted.
As part of the entry process to Aruba, the ED card registration is mandatory for all travellers, including minors and infants.
Proof of a negative PCR test, within 72 hours prior to entering the country, is also required of all travellers over the age of 11, including those already vaccinated.
The new service is being provided by VFS Global, which has built an international network of government-approved COVID-19 testing laboratories and OK2Roam, which is providing a secure data connection between the lab network and Aruba’s online ED entry platform.
Initially, it will be available in Canada and the US, from Stage Zero Life Sciences and from Same Day Health.
Travellers will have the choice of taking a video-supervised saliva test in the comfort of their own home or going to a test centre in more than 50 locations across the US.
Danguillaume Oduber, Aruba’s Minister of Tourism and Public Health, said: “Throughout the pandemic, and even before, Aruba has been keen to embrace the latest technology to make our destination more welcoming and people’s travel experience more seamless. This excellent idea, which we are delighted to pioneer with OK2Roam and VFS Global, also has the advantage that it will likely save us time, money and administrative complexity too.”
Currently, the biggest challenge for many departments of health and border-security forces — as they are responsible for physically inspecting PCR tests prior to granting access – is that they must manage the trade-off between a rigorous review and swift response time for travellers.
However, with this new approach, with travellers’ consent, PCR test results can be fed directly from a trusted laboratory to the Aruban Immigration Authority, via OK2Roam’s secure technical platform.
Chris Dix, Head of Business Development, VFS Global, commented: “We are eager to see our project with OK2Roam and Aruba succeed. Once it is successfully launched and delivers the projected benefits, we are confident of being able to help many of our client governments make their borders more efficient and more bio-secure.”
OK2Roam’s CEO & co-founder, David Tarsh, pointed out that: “Recent research from IATA validates our approach: passengers loath queuing; and 73% of them would willingly share their biometric data to receive a better travel experience. With Aruba, we are taking the world one step closer to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s vision of a seamless traveller journey, enabled by the latest technology.”