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Bahrain, Saudi to launch 'health passport' for smooth causeway travel

Christian Fernsby |
Bahrain's Information and eGovernment Authority (iGA) has signed a MoU with the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) to launch a ‘health passport’, which ensures that citizens and residents travelling between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia meet criteria set by both the kingdoms to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The move supports the efforts of the National Taskforce for tackling the coronavirus, said a statement from iGA.

It aims to align the COVID-19 precautionary and monitoring measures of both kingdoms to streamline traffic via the King Fahd Causeway.

It capitalizes on the technical compatibility of the BeAware Bahrain and Saudi’s ‘Tawakkalna’ apps by linking the health passport information hosted on the two apps with the two kingdom’s main passport systems, which helps determine the eligibility of travelers based on COVID-19 health rules.

Linking the systems will provide a comprehensive and accurate database of travellers, which will ease procedures and save the public time and effort, it stated. It will enable King Fahd Causeway employees to immediately inspect travellers’ personal and health data, as well as enhance security and privacy, it added.

It has become a comprehensive government eSystem, offering a wide range of pandemic related services such as vaccine and booster shot registration, PCR test results issuance, test appointment bookings, and services for travelers, such as arrival and departure declarations, payments for tests for arrivals, and more.

SDAIA President Dr Abdullah bin Sharaf Alghamdi said that Saudi Arabia was one of the first countries to launch an eGovernment platform such as ‘Tawakkalna’, which supports efforts by government entities to limit the spread of COVID-19.

"Users were able to easily access a range of pandemic related services through the app, most notably the health passport, which sped up travel procedures by allowing access to PRC test results, information on vaccine doses, and COVID-19 insurance policies. The health passport is linked to borders systems and is required for verifications prior to the issuance of airplane tickets," he added.


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