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Ethiopia Digitizes COVID-19 Travel Process

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 7 – Ethiopia has announced a new Covid-19 travel advisory for all travellers entering, transiting or exiting the country. 

The Ministry of Health of Ethiopia has announced that all travellers exiting, entering or transiting through the countries to all destinations shall be expected to present a digital negative Covid-19 certificate at all ports of entry based on the Africa Union’s Trusted Travel (TT) and the UNDP-sponsored Global Haven frameworks, both of which can be accessed through the PanaBIOS platform.

This will see all Covid-19 paper certificates cease to be acceptable effective July 1st, 2021.

Ethiopia’s Minister of Health, Lia Tadese, says the country has partnered with the African Union and the Africa CDC to implement these solutions, with technical support from PanaBios Consortium, a group of Pan-African institutions and technology companies. This online system deployed to authenticate and verify travelers Covid-19 certificates is, according to the Minister, in line with International rules and norms.

“Travellers exiting Ethiopia must first visit an authorized laboratory to take the RT PCR Covid-19 test and be issued with Trusted Travel (TT) codes that can be verified by airlines and Port Health Authorities across the continent,” Tadessi said in a statement.

The requirement applies to those travelling within Africa as well as those travelling from any country in the world with enough labs integrated into the AU Trusted Travel (TT) system.

For those travellers coming from outside Africa into the continent from countries where few or no labs have been currently integrated into the Trusted Travel System, the UNDP-sponsored Global Haven system allows them to use their standard paper test results to obtain a digital TT code compatible with the AU TT system on the PanaBIOS platform.

The ministry also warned travellers of uploading fake or prank documents as doing so will affect their future travel prospects globally.

“After July, 1 2021, Covid-19 test certificates without an associated TT or TV code shall no longer be valid for exiting, transitioning through or entering Ethiopia, ” Tadessi added, urging all citizens and visitors to the country to comply with the enhanced digital measures.

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Launched initially by the Africa CDC, in partnership with the PanaBIOS Consortium and Econet Group as a public-private partnership, Trusted Travel is increasingly proving to be a top-class digital solution that more and more AU Member States are trusting to support them with the tools to verify COVID-19 test certificates for travellers.

The adoption of the solution by major aviation hubs on the continent like Ethiopia and Kenya is also helping to harmonize entry and exit screening procedures across the continent.

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