Summer 2020 has been and gone like no other, dominated by efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus and adapt to new norms. Travel restrictions and two-week quarantines have impacted summer and brought the travel industry to a near standstill, threatening the survival of many businesses and putting millions of jobs at risk.
As the search for a vaccine continues, we must ensure we balance protecting the vulnerable with supporting the economy. Mass testing and tracing is our best answer to maintaining the spread of COVID-19 today.
Which is why we’re so delighted to see the UK’s leading travel hub, Heathrow Airport, trialling the FRANKD with Yoti COVID-19 test.
Heathrow Airport trials
The two-week trial involved employees and was designed to help Heathrow better understand how to deliver scalable, rapid point of care testing of passengers. In 2019, the total number of passengers at Heathrow airport reached a record 80.9million in 2019 but this number will be considerably less for 2020.
Heathrow Airport trialed some of the most cutting-edge testing technologies to see which offered the best solution. As CEO John Holland-Kaye explains, “Testing is the lifeline that the UK’s aviation sector needs to get back on its feet. If we can find a test that is accurate, gets a result within a matter of minutes, is cost-effective and gets the Government green light, we could have the potential to introduce wide-scale testing at the airport.”
Effective, rapid testing solutions like FRANKD & Yoti are key to restoring public confidence. “Every passenger travelling through Heathrow would have the confidence to know the airport is COVID-free, boosting demand and getting Global Britain back to safely trading and travelling with the world again. Without this, our first class aviation sector risks becoming second class, giving Britain’s competitive advantage to others.”
The FRANKD test
FRANKD is a RT-LAMP NAAT swab test (100% Specific and 97% sensitive) that delivers results within 30 minutes. The test can be administered and analysed on-site without sizeable lab requirements, making it ideal for passenger arriving or departing from the airport. FRANKD carries the European CE regulatory mark and was developed by GeneMe, an award-winning biotech company based in Gdansk, Poland.
Point of care Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAAT) are becoming the World Health Organisation’s gold standard and are already an entry requirement at airports in roughly 25 countries. NAAT results are based on whether a person is currently infected with the virus or not. This is different from antibody tests that look for our bodies’ response to the virus, which can take days and cost considerably more to process.
You can see exactly how this test is carried out in a laboratory in this testing guide video.
Secured by Yoti
FRANKD uses a secure application from Yoti that simplifies the capture, processing and sharing of COVID-19 tests. Tests are completed without paperwork and results are issued directly to an individual’s phone via the free Yoti app.
Our app is built with privacy at its core and harnesses secure anti-spoofing technology to prevent fraudulent use and make sharing personal data safer. To complete the one-time identity verification process, users can upload government-issued ID documents from over 195 countries and are verified through NIST-approved biometric technology.
Kasjan Szemiako, CTO of GeneMe and developer of FRANKD, said, “We have partnered with Yoti because their digital ID app is secure and cannot be spoofed.”
The app supports English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German and Polish – making it the perfect solution for global travellers and businesses alike.
How it works
- Prior to the test, individuals download the free Yoti app and secure their account with a phone number, PIN and selfie.
- A trained professional takes a sample from the individual’s mouth with a swab stick. This takes around a minute.
- Individuals use their Yoti app to scan a QR code on their test kit, linking their test to their digital identity. They can then free to leave the testing site while the sample is analysed.
- As soon as the test is registered, a secure result is issued directly to an individual’s phone via the Yoti app. This equips individuals with a digital health certificate they can use to share their information online or in person.
Made for a broad range of everyday situations
Kasjan Szemiako says, “We are thrilled to see FRANKD trialled with Heathrow. We expect FRANKD with Yoti will help create fast effective testing and Safe Spaces all over the world.”
Our CEO Robin Tombs is equally “delighted to be trialling our game changing FRANKD with Yoti solution with Heathrow, which is paving the way for travel and wider sectors to get back to work, travel and play.”
Heathrow is the latest trial of FRANKD with Yoti. Our innovative testing system has been trialed at football clubs and care homes, and is currently being used for rapid daily testing of the cast and crew of Sleepless in Seattle musical.