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From Nov 28, travelers must use contact tracing app at PH airports

  • Mandatory use of TRAZE app at all airports nationwide starts end of next month
  • App pilot-tested at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Clark Internal Airport, Mactan-Cebu International Airport, and Davao International Airport
  • TRAZE will eventually be used for all modes of transport to identify individuals in contact with COVID 19-positive patients

A man uses the TRAZE app in his mobile phone to scan the QR code in Clark International Airport | Photo from TRAZE’s Facebook page

Passengers in all airports in the Philippines will be required to use a contact tracing application starting November 28, 2020, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

“The use of TRAZE app will be strictly mandatory in all airports nationwide starting 28 November 2020. Hence, air passengers are given a period of one whole month to prepare and adjust with the new contact tracing scheme,” DOTr said in a statement.

TRAZE was simultaneously pilot-tested on October 28 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Clark Internal Airport, Mactan-Cebu International Airport, and Davao International Airport.

READ: Airport contact tracing app soft-launched on Oct 28

TRAZE is a new mobile application that uses QR (quick response) code scanning for contact tracing. It was co-developed by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) with Cosmotech Philippines, Inc. and is already being implemented at PPA ports.

Other airports will also be pilot-testing the app soon.

“This is truly a breakthrough for the aviation sector, which had been grappling with the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade said in his message delivered by PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago during the app’s soft launch.

“What we are introducing here is the face of the new normal, the new way of fast-tracking airport procedures, and a new initiative that signifies the readiness of the sector to once again take off,” he added.

DOTr earlier said through the use of QR code, TRAZE speeds up the tedious manual contact tracing process to just a few minutes.

All departing and arriving passengers at the pilot airports will be required to download the app on their mobile phones, and to register an account before proceeding to the airport.

Passengers without mobile phones or any other mobile gadget can go to the Malasakit Helpdesk at the airport for registration assistance in getting a unique QR code, or they may ask a family member to register them with the app. The QR code can be used at any DOTr offices nationwide.

Passengers will scan the QR codes at designated areas of the airport. Once a COVID-19-positive patient is identified, an in-app notification will be sent to individuals who may have had contact with the patient so they can immediately self-isolate and take other precautionary health measures.

TRAZE will eventually be utilized across all modes of transportation as part of the government’s effort to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by immediately identifying individuals who’ve had contact with COVID 19-positive patients, DOTr said.

TRAZE is compliant with Republic Act No. 10173, or the Data Privacy Act, as it allows anonymous registration and optional submission of personal information (i.e., mobile phone, email address). DOTr said the app does not require Bluetooth or GPS, and works even on weak mobile data or WiFi connection.

The app, which will have nationwide coverage, can also be used to scan QR codes in participating shops, buildings, and transportation modes the users went into to record their movement. It also allows person-to-person contact tracing by scanning the unique QR codes of other individuals using the application, as well as those of messengers and delivery personnel.

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