TORONTO — Aruba has launched a new service that grants travellers instant PCR test clearance, eliminating the need for them to wait for their results.
In partnership with OK2Roam, the service allows travellers to authorize an approved laboratory to send their negative test results directly to Aruba’s Embarkation-Disembarkation card entry platform for instant approval.
As part of Aruba’s entry protocols, the ED card registration is mandatory for all travellers, including minors and infants. Proof of a negative PCR test taken 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 provides a secure data connection between the lab network and Aruba’s online ED entry platform.
The service will initially be available in Canada and the United States from Stage Zero Life Sciences and Same Day Health. It is not limited to any particular airline or airport; all travellers can use it, provided they can test with a participating lab. 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 U.S.
“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,” said Danguillaume Oduber, Aruba’s Minister of Tourism and Public Health.
Aruba will hopefully be the first in a long line of destinations to implement the service, said Chris Dix, Head of Business Development, VFS Global.
“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,” said Dix.
David Tarsh, CEO and Co-Founder of OK2Roam, cited recent research from IATA that validates the approach being taken in Aruba.
“Passengers loath queuing and 73% of them would willingly share their biometric data to receive a better travel experience,” said Tarsh. “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.”