More and more countries are introducing a vaccination passport; a proof that citizens can demonstrate that they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, have recently been tested negative, or have been fully recovered and thus immune. Such a passport would make it easier for millions of people to shop, eat out, or travel abroad.
Today, the European Parliament is debating such a certificate. A European Covid-19 certificate is expected to be finally adopted and introduced by the end of May.
But meanwhile, in many countries there is a proliferation of vaccination passports and other certificates, both digitally and on paper. And all those documents are quite different from each other. Let‘s list some examples.
With the so-called Green Pass, Israelis can demonstrate in their home country that they have fully recovered from the coronavirus, or have been fully vaccinated. The card holder can print the card, scan it with a QR code from a smartphone or show it from an app.
What can you do with it? With the Green Pass you can sit indoors at a table in a café or restaurant, visit a swimming pool, gym or theater, and attend concerts, sports competitions and religious gatherings. This pass also exempts the traveller from quarantine obligations after returning from abroad.
Disadvantage: The importance of the Green Pass is smaller now that more people have been vaccinated. The document was always intended as a temporary tool to stimulate vaccination readiness.
Chinese people can use the vaccination port — a green code in a health app — to show that they have been vaccinated or have recently been tested negative. The document is part of mini-programs in the popular Chinese social media apps WeChat and Alipay. The test and vaccination certificates are also available in paper form.
What can you do with it? The app is used as a quick health check at the entrance of shops, offices, cafes and restaurants. At most train stations and airports, the green code is mandatory. The aim is also to facilitate border access for people who can demonstrate full vaccination with the certificate. This applies primarily to Chinese citizens. Foreigners are hardly allowed in China.
Disadvantage: Only people vaccinated with Sinopharm and Sinovac Chinese vaccines can use the vaccination port, even though these vaccines are less effective than other known vaccines such as Pfizer. The vaccine passport does not give much freedom: after entering, two or three weeks of mandatory quarantine is still valid in a government-designated hotel.
In anticipation of the Brussels decision, the EU Member State Denmark is working with a kind of health certificate. The coronapas is part of a digital app on the smartphone that provides access to your electronic medical record, something that the Danes have for a long time but never got off the ground in the Netherlands. Coronapas shows you if you’ve been tested negative or have antibodies. A paper version is also available.
What can you do with it? Now you can sit with the coronapas on a terrace, go to the hairdresser, massage parlor or a tattoo shop. Since Denmark is gradually easing, it is only becoming more and more convenient. From 6 May you enter restaurants, theatres and small concert halls, a few weeks later also amusement parks and indoor sports events.
Disadvantage: It‘s not a passport and you can’t travel with it. It‘s just a confirmation that you have been tested negatively or completely recovered from corona. Since Denmark, like the Netherlands, is working towards a test society, it will remain important for a long time to have you tested frequently and to show the results through the app.
There will be no vaccination pass for all Americans who have been vaccinated. In some US states, such apps do exist, but at the national level there is now only one kind of evidence left: an old-fashioned paper card showing what kind of pricks the holder received and when.
But that doesn’t make the “passport” any less important. The European Union said earlier this week that Americans who have been fully vaccinated with EU-approved vaccines will be allowed to travel to all 27 Member States this summer.
For travel abroad, the cabinet wants to use the Coronacheck app. It is now used in pilot events to show a negative test result. The aim is that vaccinees can eventually show their vaccination status via the CoronaCheck app. In addition, we are also working on a paper option, for vaccinees who do not have a smartphone.
According to a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health, how this app relates to the European plans for a vaccination passportNot yet clear.
the beginning of June, the cabinet hopes to have the app completed so that the vaccination status can also be demonstrated. But before this green light is given, it must first be established that vaccinated persons are unable to transmit the virus, the Ministry stresses.
Anyone who does not want to be vaccinated can also use the same app as vaccinees, but must show a negative test result.
Dutch people who have been vaccinated can log into the RIVM since the beginning of April to see their vaccination data there. But that information does not serve as a vaccination certificate.