Political adviser proposes unified health codes for travelers
China's civil aviation sector should implement unified health code and nucleic acid testing standards for the convenience of air travelers during the COVID-19 pandemic, a national political adviser from Shanghai said Thursday.
Domestic cities now have different COVID-19 prevention standards as well as their own health codes, which have affected the efficiency of air travel and impeded the recovery of the civil aviation industry, said Wang Yu, president of Shanghai Spring Airlines and vice president of the Shanghai Federation of Industry and Commerce.
For instance, Chengdu in southwest Sichuan Province requires the "Chengdu Health Code," Guangzhou in south Guangdong Province has its "Yueshengshi" code and Shanghai has the "Suishenma" code.
Many air travelers must register on various platforms or download mobile apps when landing in different domestic airports, Wang said in his proposal to the fifth session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body.
Sixty Shanghai delegates to the National People's Congress and 101 Shanghai members of the political advisory body arrived in Beijing on Thursday for the annual sessions that begin Friday.
The validity period of nucleic acid testing also varies among domestic cities. Some require a negative report two days before arrival, while others ask for a report made two days before takeoff. Their standards also change frequently, from one testing within two days to multiple tests.
"Passengers are easily confused and sometimes even stranded at airports," said Wang. "The already gloomy civil aviation industry will suffer additional losses due to these different standards."
He proposed releasing a unified information platform across the country where every traveler's itinerary code, nucleic acid testing report and vaccination records can be quickly checked. Air travelers are expected to show a single code to board an aircraft.
Wang also proposed more use of facial recognition and other touchless pass technologies in airports, railway stations, hospitals and shopping malls. Such digital technologies can help reduce labor costs while increasing traveling efficiency, Wang said.