The Government of Zimbabwe has taken note of the growing prospect of another wave in the COVID-19 cycle in the region. Such a wave could be worsened by the circulation of dangerous new variants from overseas. Zimbabwe, like most countries, has tried to minimise the risk of disease importation from the onset of the pandemic by requiring international travelers to produce evidence of a negative COVID-19 test at Points of Entry. However, as the risk grows, so does the critical need to strengthen the system and to harmonize cross-border COVID-19 requirements, thereby assuring the integrity of certificates presented.
Therefore, the African Union, Africa CDC and other partners, working with PanaBIOS as technical leads, have introduced the Trusted Travel Initiative to support AU member states harmonise and enhance their current health screening systems. Trusted Travel offers an online digital platform for the verification and authentication of COVID -19 test results based on a collaborative effort across a network of participating COVID-19 testing laboratories and Port Health authorities. This platform allows for the detection of counterfeit travel documents and also enhances cross-border collaboration and confidence in COVID-19 results originating from other countries. This platform further provides updated information on entry requirements and travel restrictions for participating states.
The Ministry of Health is therefore pleased to announce the launch of the Trusted Travel Platform in Zimbabwe. We are confident that this platform will ease travel for both travelers into and out of the country.
In order to facilitate the use of this platform, the following guidance is provided:
- Passengers intending to undertake international travel are expected to present themselves to any one of our Trusted Travel accredited laboratories for a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test.
Currently the accredited laboratories are:
a. Matebeleland South
i. Beit bridge district hospital
ii. Gwanda provincial hospital
b. Matebeleland North
i. Lupane Hospital
ii. Bio express lab Victoria Falls
i. Gweru provincial Hospital
i. Masvingo provincial hospital
ii. Collin Saunders memorial hospital
iii. Gutu mission hospital
e. Mashonaland west
i. Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital
f. Mashonaland East
i. Marondera Provincial Hospital
g. Mashonaland Central
i. Bindura Provincial hospital
i. Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital
i. Bio Express Labs(PVT)
ii. CIMAS MEDLABS
iii. Lancet Clinical Laboratories
iv. National Microbiology Reference Laboratory
v. National TB reference Laboratory
vi. Parirenyatwa Central Hospital
vii. Sally Mugabe Central Hospital
viii.United Nations Clinic
i. United Bulawayo hospital laboratory
ii. Mpilo hospital laboratory
i. Chitungwiza Central Hospital
- Newly accredited laboratories can be found by visiting the Trusted Travel portal and creating an account at trustedtravel.panabios.org. To find accredited laboratories, travelers must indicate their current origin and intended destination.
- When a test has been run, the laboratory will generate a Trusted Travel test (TT) code that can be verified by airlines and Port Health Authorities to confirm that the test came from an accredited laboratory.
- Travelers will then receive a text message from PanaBios and an email from the testing laboratory with a link that will allow the traveler to create an account at trustedtravel.panabios.org and access the Trusted Travel Test Code (TT). Travelers must ensure when creating an account to access the results reported by the laboratory that they use the same email address and phone number that they gave to the laboratory.
- If the test results issued satisfy the full requirements set by Zimbabwe and the country of destination (for example, validity period or test type) then a Travel Code (TC) will be issued to the traveler online for presentation to airlines and Port Health Authorities.
- Whilst the TT code confirms that a test was performed by an accredited laboratory, the TC provides additional evidence that the test performed is still valid at the time of travel since results can expire and regulations may change at any time as the pandemic evolves.
- When travelers present themselves to their port of departure or arrival, the port health officials will use the clearance code (TC) provided to verify that their results meet all other requirements beyond having been issued by an accredited lab.
- Inbound-travelers with results from non-Trusted Travel -compliant laboratories will be required to upload a copy of their results on the Global Haven System (www.globalhaven.org) for authentication. Uploading forged documents will undermine the ability to travel globally.
Travelers encountering challenges with use of the Trusted Travel and Global Haven systems are assured of technical support if they send an email to [email protected]
The Trusted Travel Platform will be fully available for use from 1st of August 2021. From 7th August 2021 only COVID-19 certificates obtained on the Trusted travel platform or verified on the Global Haven systems will be valid for exit or entry into Zimbabwe.