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Africa to launch continental Covid-19 travel pass

New electronic hub to help intra-African travellers negotiate restrictions

The African Union will launch a new travel information hub on 5 October to assist intra-African travellers to access and comply with Covid-19 travel restrictions. 

The hub will provide travellers with information on what they need to travel from their specific port of origin to their destination. It will also list certified testing centres and create electronic health cards using a downloadable mobile app that travellers can use across borders. 

The African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention will enrol certified Covid-19 testing centres on the platform, and register and update pre-entry and exit requirements. At first, it will include only a subset of Africa’s 55 nations, focusing on travel hubs like Kenya, South Africa and Egypt.

The initiative comes as African countries are easing their restrictions. “We want to make sure they are doing so safely,” Africa CDC director John Ngengasong told a virtual press briefing on 1 October. 

At the moment, 29 African countries require a negative Covid-19 test from travellers before they arrive, while 9 require such tests to be produced upon arrival, he said. “We need to harmonise and coordinate this to enable our economies to open up and work smoothly.”