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Travel Passenger Screening

According to the CDC.

“The objective of screening is to reduce the international spread of communicable disease by detecting departing travelers who are sick or who have been exposed to the disease and preventing them from leaving the country they are in (exit screening) or by detecting them upon arrival and directing them to appropriate care and follow up, as needed (entry screening).

Public health screening occurs in two stages: 

(1) Primary screening, which includes observing travelers for obvious signs of illness, measuring temperature, and collecting information on travel and exposure history; and 

(2) secondary screening, which includes having a healthcare or public health professional (whenever possible) conduct an additional public health assessment of ill or potentially exposed travelers identified through the primary screening process.”

Airlines and cruise companies, responsible for exit screening, have used passenger surveys at the point of departure for decades. However, there are several well-document problems with this screening technique. One of the most prominent issues is that accuracy, hence, success, is dependent on travelers admitting truths which often conflict with their self-interests.

To prevent disruptions to their travel, individuals may not reveal information about their symptoms or exposure history. They may try to disguise symptoms by taking medication. In fact, it is estimated that more than half of all travelers will not admit signs of illness on Health Declarations or other screening documents make this method nearly useless to public health concerns.

Even before COVID, countries had screening practices for preventing entry of “high-risk” travelers who suffered from a variety of conditions such as SARS, MERS, Tuberculosis and Measles. COVID has simply accelerated and exaggerated the screening process, highlighting its many failures.

So how do these travel providers and others conduct a more meaningful health screening process?

MyLifeID Pocket Cloud

MyLifeID contains its own Health Declaration form which includes:

  • Passenger full name
  • City, state country
  • Contact method such as phone and email.
  • Questions about general health, allergies, prescriptions, vaccinations
  • Specific questions related to COVID-19, influenza, tuberculosis and other diseases or conditions which may change from time to time such as measles.
  • Passenger self-acknowledgement
  • Validation by medical person and date updated

This Health Declaration can be printed or provided digitally before, during or after travel to as many companies, organizations and governments as necessary and in multiple languages making it useful anywhere in the world.

Having health declarations that are more complete, verified and recent can expedite a passenger’s travel time by up to 16 hours depending on where they are in the world.

Typical Failures of Health Declarations

  1. Screening is dependent on travelers behaving in a manner that may conflict with their immediate personal interest. To prevent disruptions to their travel, individuals may not reveal information about their symptoms or exposure history or try to disguise symptoms by taking medication.
  2. Information is rarely recent. Information on the declarations are often what they remember, not what’s current.
  3. Answers are hardly ever validated. Information entered onto these forms are not from medical professionals or health records.
  4. Permission to audit or verify information is not included. Information on forms cannot be proven factual or accurate.
  5. Questions lack potency in order to avoid privacy concerns which defeats the primary purpose of the health declaration.
  6. No recourse if the health declaration is false. This lack of accountability undermines the intent of the form to the average traveler.

The MyLifeID Health Declaration addresses all of the above with a complete audit trail enabling authorities to validate and comprehend the medical information with a greater degree of confidence and control while individual travelers have the confidence and peace of mind that their privacy is not being violated.

The MyLifeID Health Declaration limits the information available to the travel provider and authorities to what is required without providing deeper or broader access to the complete history of a traveler.

The MyLifeID Passenger Screening program provides services to travel companies, allowing providers to automatically request its passengers to send them health declarations via API or other means. These declarations can include validated test results for COVID and other conditions, additional health data, alternate contacts and more. The transmission of this data from MyLifeID’s audited system to the travel company in advance of departure can enable the travel company to be pro-active. Airlines can notify passengers not to show up at the airport if tests return positive, sparing potential further exposure to workers and other travelers. Travelers can be notified while in transit of potential exposure from others and can even be tested while traveling or prior to their return trip.

For more information on how you can benefit from MyLifeID’s Passenger Screening program, contact MyLifeID or your local MyLifeID representative today!