EU Launches Digital Covid-19 Certificate to Promote Safe Travel

June 21, 2021
Sarah Gormley

Towards the end of May, the European Union launched a Digital Covid-19 Certificate, also known as the Digital Green Certificate, for all member countries to implement to help facilitate safe travel between countries.

The digital vaccination verification tool is an online resource that provides one of the above: digital proof of a person’s vaccination, a recent negative test result, a recent positive antigen test result, or documentation that they have tested positive and recovered from the virus within the last few weeks. The certificate provides the user’s name, date of birth, and date issued.

Each user has a unique QR code that contains their certificate with documentation from a medical center. To promote an even higher level of confidentiality, the European Commission decided that the information on a users’ certificate can not be stored or retained in any sort by the country that the user visits.

While you can request a paper copy of your certificate to keep on you, a digital version can be stored on mobile devices such as smartphones or computers. The digital form is much more convenient for everyday use when traveling. Each one of the European Union member states had a say in the design of the certificate and agreed on one form of digital certificate and one form of paper certificate to keep things consistent between countries. While the member states all worked together on this agreement, it is up to each member states’ health authorities to issue certificates to the citizens.

The European Parliament declared July 1 to be the date that the Digital Covid-19 Certificate must be made available for travelers’ use across all 27 of the member countries, while they are way ahead of schedule. After just one month, a majority of the member countries have either already implemented this tool or are in the process of doing so.

 

Is your country of residence using this vaccination verification tool?

12 member countries have already begun the use of this tool: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Spain

12 member countries, as well as 4 non-member countries that are a part of the Schengen Area, are in the process of implementing it:
Belgium, Cyprus, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland.

 

With the pandemic coming down from its peak point in 2020 and US citizens itching to travel to Europe, many people question whether the app will be open to citizens outside of Europe. An EU spokesperson states in a Forbes report that the app does have the potential to be available to non-EU citizens in the future, giving hope to aspiring travelers around the globe.

 

Reference:

“12 Countries Using EU’s Digital COVID Certificate, 16 More Ready To Go.” TravelPulse, www.travelpulse.com/news/impacting-travel/12-countries-using-eus-digital-covid-certificate-16-more-ready-to-go.html. 

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