| 16 April 2024, Tuesday |

Health e-passport launched for travel between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain

A health e-passport for travel between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain has been launched.

To activate the electronic document, the Saudi Cabinet accepted a memorandum of agreement between the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence and Bahrain’s Information and e-Government Authority.

It will assist citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in verifying and matching traveler information over the King Fahd Causeway in order to meet COVID-19 health criteria.

The SDAIA established the health passport in January of last year, and it has since been updated to include a PCR result as well as a travel insurance coverage for coronavirus risks.

It also integrates with IATA transport systems to indicate travel criteria and links the passport with border systems, checking the traveler’s health eligibility while issuing the boarding pass. The SDAIA’s goal is to strengthen the health e-passport to the point where it may be recognized as an official document all around the world.

Last July, the Tawakkalna app in Saudi Arabia announced the addition of a function to the health e-passport that allows users to evaluate insurance policy data approved by the Saudi Central Bank and the Council of Health Insurance, which covers COVID-19 risks outside of Saudi Arabia. The function is intended to make travel procedures easier.

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain inked an agreement in November to activate the health passport and integrate the Tawakkalna and the Bahraini BeAware Bahrain app on a technological level.

The goal is to make it easier for travelers, citizens, and residents to travel between the two countries via the King Fahd Causeway.

It also aids in the verification of their adherence to the health procedures and criteria in place in the fight against COVID-19.
The Saudi-Bahrain collaboration aims to secure the execution of bilateral preventative and control measures in the fight against the disease.

The electronic link between the two countries is supposed to speed up the completion of travel formalities. It will also allow workers at the King Fahd Causeway to instantly validate all personal and health data of travelers, as well as improve the level of data security and confidentiality.

According to Bahraini writer Najat Shwaiter, the arrangement helped to create a database with “excellent information correctness and reliability.”

“This is significant because it protects the privacy of tourists,” she told Arab News.
The e-passport, she claimed, will save tourists’ time and effort, as well as “workers working with authorities in the border area between the two nations.”

Shwaiter stressed the necessity of the e-passport as part of the coronavirus prevention efforts, as well as ensuring that travelers moving between the two nations meet their health standards.

She also believed that this step would help to improve digitalization and reduce paper transactions.

  • Arab News