The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in the United Kingdom, Sajid Javid, has proposed a new solution for vaccinated travelers making their way back to the UK. It would require travelers to be filmed during the process of taking a lateral flow swab COVID-19 test. 

So far, travelers returning to the UK from countries such as Italy, France, Greece and Portugal, were required to take a PCR test (which costs about 75 pounds per person) two days after their arrival in the country. 

However, the Government is planning to simplify the process for fully-vaccinated travelers by requiring them to take a cheaper version of a Covid-19 test, known as a rapid COVID-19 test or lateral flow swab, which would only cost them about 25 pounds.

This being said, the Health Secretary has expressed his concerns regarding the proposed changes, acknowledging the risk of people taking advantage of the new way of testing and lying about their results.

COVID-19 self-testing with video observation solution considered In the UK 

Sajid Javid has proposed a solution that would require the travelers to take their Covid-19 test during live video calls, with the presence of a private health advisor that would control the process and verify the authenticity of the results.  

The proposed process of COVID-19 Self-Test with observation comes to light after changes introduced on Monday, October 5, 2021, whose main goal is to make travelling to the UK cheaper and easier. 

The changes included updating the “traffic light system” list of countries affected by the pandemic, which significantly impacted the number of travellers. Under the new proposals, the current system will be simplified by merging the green and amber groups to form one category of countries marked safe to travel to. 

Fully vaccinated residents, and unvaccinated residents under 18 (but over 11) from over 50 countries can now enter the UK without the need to complete the pre-departure lateral flow test. Instead, only the post-arrival test will now be required from the travelers. 

A COVID-19 home test under observation video would now become an alternative that would allow fully vaccinated travelers to avoid the costly hassle of undertaking the PCR tests. 

More than just a test

It goes without saying that the process of conducting an at-home self-test with observation on video, requires a professional approach that will ensure the highest standards of safety and compliance. A proper verification of travellers conducting their tests live is also essential, to eliminate the risk of fraudulent activity, such as trying to manipulate the authenticity of tests by someone taking the test in someone else’s name. 

Fully-Verified offers a video-based identity verification solution (Live-Verify), which is a quick, secure and incredibly effective way of identifying users. The process is conducted by a highly-trained operator who, during a live video call, leads the user through the verification. The whole process is backed by the AI and machine learning solutions, such as automated document and face recognition tools. 

How does it work? 

The users connect with a trained specialist through video. During the call, the user is required  to present their identity document such as a passport, an identity card or their driving license. The automated checks of document’s data and face verification process are performed by the AI softwares in the background, while the operator checks the authenticity of the document and its security features. 

Thanks to the possibilities presented by the nature of a live call, the operator has a chance to interact with a user and perform several additional steps depending on clients’ requirements and regulations in place. 

In the case of newly proposed video-based lateral flow swab COVID-19 testing in the UK, Fully-Verified offers a combined solution that ensures the highest quality and security of the service by recording the process of undertaking the test under video observation and the ID verification. The solution also ensures that the risk of identity fraud is completely eliminated and the identity of a traveler is confirmed in the most detailed and effective way. 

Advantages of swab tests performed during the Live-Verify process:

  • The user identity verification process and the smear collection process are fully recorded.
  • The specificity of the verification process, i.e. the participation of a trained specialist combined with artificial intelligence, ensures the highest quality, precision and authenticity of a COVID-19 self-testing under video observation. 
  • The process allows for effective verification of the user’s identity and eliminates the risk of falsifying the results or attempting to perform a test on someone else’s behalf.

The worldwide pandemic has undoubtedly influenced several aspects of our lives. An increase of online transactions has risen significantly, and the e-commerce industry has bloomed. Not only that, but the majority of the world has turned to online and digital solutions in order to maintain the continuity of their service. Online schooling, working, attending online doctor’s appointments, creating a banking account without leaving one’s house – all of those have become a norm. 

It is not surprising that solutions such as video-based self-testing for Covid-19 are starting to be considered by governments and healthcare officials. The British government is not the only official body that is currently looking at requiring travelers to conduct Covid-19 tests during a live video call. The solution, which has been already in use by certain service providers, such as Alaska Airlines, is now being seriously considered in countries such as Switzerland and Germany, which might become a new trend throughout Europe. 

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