Chairperson of Tourism, Mr Supra Mahumapelo with Mr Justin Van Wyk of Health Passport South Africa together with members of the Portfolio Committee on Tourism at the Rapid Covid-19 Testing Centre in Cape Town.
Parliament, Tuesday, 16 March 2021 – The Portfolio Committee on Tourism today visited Health Passport South Africa (HPSA) to view the Rapid Covid-19 Testing Centre. The secure system combines testing and vaccinations with the latest digital technology to provide an efficient health passport system which can be integrated with existing travel, health and event systems.
HPSA has developed the process to accommodate high volume on-site testing of over 65 000 people within eight hours and works with all official Covid-19 test types including the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and rapid antigen tests. The committee heard from Justin van Wyk, CEO of Big Concerts and a partner at HPSA, that the system quickly integrates with public health systems, venues, airports, test centres, and event ticketing platforms for conferences, concerts, cultural and sporting events. This type of testing and health passport system can immediately help to reopen the travel, tourism, events and the hospitality industry, thus protecting business, the economy and society.
If a person tests and is not vaccinated, the person’s test status automatically expires after an agreed period, such as 72 hours. The committee heard that travellers can upload their official Passenger Locator Forms to the Travel wallet section within the Health Passport Worldwide app which allows for details such as the flight booking number and passport number which can be automatically linked to airlines, notifying them that a passenger’s documents are in order and the passenger is fit to fly.
The committee heard that this system is currently being rolled out to business and that funding is required to make it accessible to the public due to the high cost of testing and vaccination kits which prohibits HPSA from making their service available.
The Chairperson of the Tourism Committee, Mr Supra Mahumapelo, informed the committee that he was pleased with the service offering of HPSA as it would help open up the tourism industry and revive those jobs which have been stagnant since the start of the pandemic. As this technology has already been selected as the platform to reopen international festivals at the Algarve in Portugal this year, the committee will be engaging with the Minister of Tourism and the relevant departments such as Tourism, Health, Home Affairs and Transport to collaborate for assistance in part funding with the private sector to ensure that this system can be made available to the public for future events and travel.