“DIGITAL GREEN PASSPORT”: What are the benefits?

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The EU-wide “Digital Green Passport” is supposed to bring freedom of travel back to the European Union. The certificate should be available as early as the end of June – just in time for summer vacation. But exactly what benefits it will bring remains to be seen.
Strolling through the streets of an unfamiliar city, lying on the beach or enjoying adventures in the breathtaking nature of the vacation destination – after months of lockdown, the prospect of a possible summer vacation sets a cheerful mood. The recent relaxations in the Netherlands, the open outdoor gastronomy in Switzerland or that Italy opens theaters, cinemas or concert halls with limited attendance in regions with moderate Corona numbers, gives hope for summer vacation. Austria will lift most restrictions on tourists from May 19.

The “Digital Green Passport” is intended to make travel within the European Union easier and possible. The proof is to confirm that travelers have been vaccinated against Covid-19, recovered from an infection with the virus or at least tested negative for Corona. The document is based on the “green passport” in Israel. Not all details have been clarified yet. But what will travelers be allowed to do with the “Green Certificates”? When will the passport arrive? And how will travelers get such a certificate?

The most important questions and answers:

When will it be introduced in the EU?
According to the EU Commission, the “Green Passport” should be ready for use by the end of June – just in time for the start of the summer vacation. A regulation is to govern exactly what data will be stored in the certificates or what freedoms travelers will be given. According to the European Union’s plans, “necessary central information such as name, date of birth and date of issue, as well as vaccine/test/health details and an individual identification marker should be included.” Exactly what that will look like is not yet clear because final negotiations between the EU Parliament and the Council of Ministers have only just begun. The Council of Ministers represents the governments of the member states. The negotiations could be completed by mid-June. The rules will initially apply for twelve months, as reported by “Deutschlandfunk” radio.

What form will the passport take?
The information on vaccination, test or recovery is to be stored by means of a QR code. A digital seal of authenticity is to make the “Digital Green Passport” forgery-proof. The certificates are to be available in a digital version that can be used on a smartphone, but those who do not have a smartphone will also be able to use the certificate – in paper form.

source: stol.it

How can travelers obtain the “green passport”?
The certificates are to be issued in member countries at hospitals, test centers or health authorities.

How much does it cost?
If the certificates are available, they should be free of charge for citizens – whether in digital or paper form.

How do the vaccination certificates work?
If the “Digital Green Certificate” is checked, the data is transmitted via the QR code and a digital signature. This is verified during an inspection. Each body that issues a vaccination certificate has its own signature key, informs de European Union. These signature keys are stored in a database throughout the EU. An interface will be set up via the EU Commission – this will make it possible to retrieve the signature keys in all member states.

In Austria people will get a QR code directly as proof of vaccination when the certificates are available. Those who have already been vaccinated would still be able to obtain this proof at a later date. It is not yet clear how these certificates will reach those who have already been vaccinated.

Will the yellow vaccination certificate still be valid?
The certificates do not replace the classic vaccination book of the World Health Organization. There will be no compulsion to use the “Digital Green Passport”. However, the certificate contains more information than the classic vaccination booklet, namely negative test results, or that a Covid 19 infection has already been overcome.

Do travelers have more freedom with the certificate?
The “Green Passport” are supposed to make freedom of travel within the EU possible again. It is not yet clear what advantages the document will bring, especially for people who have already been vaccinated. It is considered relatively certain that testing and quarantine requirements for entering and leaving the EU will no longer be necessary when vacationing in the EU. However, there are also discussions about making it easier for vaccinated people to visit stores or restaurants with the “green passport”. However, this will not be decided at EU level. It is in the hands of the member states to decide on additional freedoms for vaccinated people. So vaccinated travelers will most likely have to study the regulations of their vacation country.

In all EU member states, all vaccines that are approved EU-wide must be recognized by all countries – even if they are not vaccinated locally. The situation is different for vaccines that have not yet been approved in the EU – such as the vaccines from Russia or China – people who have been vaccinated with these vaccines can continue to be considered unvaccinated in the EU.

  • hp with materials from dpa/picture: pixabay.com
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