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2020 will certainly be a year to remember. Amongst all the chaos and medical emergencies, COVID-19 made international travel, as we knew it, impossible.  Governments, looking to protect their residents, either forbid foreign arrivals or insisted on arrivals having lengthy self-confinements.

As we enter 2021 the situation remains unstable – our sister site, CovidEntryCheck.com, continues to need daily updates as governments respond to new risks and the introduction of vaccines. Life for many business travellers remains complex, especially those who visit different countries each month or travel between continents. But travel remains a critical enabler for recovery and growth.  Many businesses who could “get by” with Zoom in the short term, are starting to look for a deeper human interaction and more are feeling the strain a lack of face-to-face brings.

We sat down with Singapore-based entrepreneur Hugh Mason, CEO of TrustScan, on how TrustScan is looking to enable travel in 2021- in a way that is as close as possible to the way in which they used to be able to travel in pre-COVID times.

hughmason
Hugh Mason, CEO of TrustScan

Focusing on near term impact

TrustScan is a clear “Level Up” on our CovidEntryCheck information service in offering a fast and efficient digital service that ensures travellers meet the entry requirements of the country they are visiting.

Unlike solutions such the World Health Organisation backed CommonPass, TrustScan have actively steered away from the concept of a universal “health passport”. Hugh and his team see countries pushing their own criteria, standards, and process for who is allowed through its borders, making a universal solution unworkable in the near-to-medium term.

Instead, TrustScan focuses on developing practical bilateral solutions that “opens up” travel opportunities on a route-by-route basis. The team believe as their work on the main travel routes in Asia proves successful, confidence for other schemes will grow and safe reopening will accelerate across the region.

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TrustScan – traveller health status

Providing the right information

There is a minefield of complex health and process requirements that require 100% compliance to achieve access. Plus, those travel rules will constantly evolve for the foreseeable future so passengers will need to have the latest information available to help them book and travel.  The fundamental basis of TrustScan is to provide travellers with fast, accurate travel requirements well in advance of a trip.  TrustScan further supports their users to achieve the required compliance through automation and integrations. 

The TrustScan solution will offer, on selected routes, a seamless travel experience with minimum additional delay as, with their help, travellers have all the correct and required documentation readily accessible on their mobile device.  The experience should not feel too dissimilar of the past, such as those around Yellow Fever.

Setting the right expectations

Despite TrustScan’s best efforts, travel will for sure be different for those used to travelling pre2020. One of their key roles is to help set the right travel expectations.  Two areas TrustScan and TruTrip are working together on give users better control over the “new costs” associated with travel:

  • Testing: with the average COVID-19 test costing just under $200 each and, for at least the next year, travellers needing several tests to enable travel – for example at the point of departure, at arrival and periodically to prove they are clear and/or immune – we are looking into ways to keep these costs controllable and accessible.
  • Insurance: with the liability of a positive case often falling on employers, some employers remain apprehensive of the risks, even with travel to “safe” countries.  We are working with a group of insurance companies to offer accessible “off the shelf” single or multi trip coverage as well as access to more specialist offerings. 

Maintaining responsibility

The cornerstone of success of TrustScan’s mission will be demonstrating the responsibility shown by individual travellers.  Even with a vaccine, travellers will need to prove they are a minimal risk. Navigating the complexity of different vaccines, protection, requirements and of course, maintaining privacy will remain no simple task.   

Enabling the ecosystem

Of course, travellers play just a part of navigating the ‘new normal’.  Hugh and team recognise that for true success they must also support those who play a part along the process; including agencies, airlines, airports, hospitality, healthcare providers and immigration. 

For TrustScan it is critical that all these partners can handle large numbers of travellers, “talk” and share where appropriate, remain themselves up to date on the latest requirements and support compliance.  With TrustScan’s support, these ‘ecosystem players’ will be able to bring us an overall travel experience that is not only effective at protecting against the virus but also minimises disruption for everyone. 

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Restarting international business travel

TrustScan’s main aim is to offer everyone involved in international travel a fast path back to an experience as close as what we had before COVID-19, while staying compliant with their route’s health requirements.

At TruTrip we’re excited about how, working closely with TrustScan, we can offer our travellers the best possible re-start to safe travel.  Look out for our TrustScan and other solutions coming soon or get in touch to see how you can get it sooner.