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EU Launches Compulsory Covid-19 Vaccine Passport For Entering Schengen Countries

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EU vaccine digital passport

The European Union has launched a digital vaccine passport amidst Covid-19 pandemic.

All travelers must have the passport to enter Schengen countries.

The passport is necessary to reduce or hinder the infection cases and death tolls completely.

The EU launched the document following the continuous rise in covid-19 infections and high death tolls recorded in the EU.

The passport is a one-page document, issued in digital format and is printable.

The Digital passport, termed, EU Digital COVID Certificate Regulation, officially entered into application on 1st of July, 2021.

The passport allows citizens and residents of EU countries to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, a recent negative test result, or a past COVID-19 infection.

It also means a digital green certificate.

The document shows if a traveler, resident or a citizen has been vaccinated against Covid-19.

It also shows if a person has ever been infected before and has recovered from the virus.

The EU vaccine passport equally shows if a person tested negative within the last 72 hours.

So, if a traveler from non-EU countries wants to enter the EU region, the person must prove meeting one of these three criteria.

With this proof, the individuals holding the EU vaccine passport can now travel throughout Europe without the need to quarantine or test for COVID-19.

EU vaccine digital passport

EU vaccine digital passport

Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, and Poland were among first EU countries to embrace the passport.

Meanwhile, the remaining EU countries have also adopted the Digital Vaccine Passport on 1st of July, 2021.

According to the EU, the Digital passport only recognizes specific COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the EU.

The vaccines recognized by the digital passport include the AstraZeneca, Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson shots.

How citizens get the green pass:

“National authorities are in charge of issuing the certificate,” explains the European commission website.

The green pass, according to the EU commission, “could, for example, be issued by test centres or health authorities, or directly via an eHealth portal.

“Information on how to get the certificate should be provided by the national health authorities.

The holders can also store “the digital version on a mobile device. Citizens can also request a paper version.

“Both will have a QR code that contains essential information, as well as a digital signature to make sure the certificate is authentic.

“Member States have agreed on a common design that can be used for the electronic and paper versions to facilitate the recognition.”

The commission also explained that the digital vaccine passport is free of charge and available in all EU languages.

It said further that the green pass covers COVID-19 vaccination as well as test and recovery.

ALSO READ: How To Register For COVID-19 Vaccination In Nigeria

It also is available in a digital and paper-based format and it is secure and includes a digitally signed QR code.

Types of the EU vaccine passports:

The EU digital vaccine passport is in three formats, viz:

1.      Recovery Certificate:

This passport confirms the infection and recovery levels passed trough by the holder.

According to the union, “The EU Digital Covid Certificate of recovery confirms that the holder has recovered from a SARS-CoV-2 infection following a positive test.

The person must get the certificate “…no earlier than 11 days after the first positive test.”

2.      Test Certificate?

According to the commission, this certificate allows all travelers access into EU countries if they test for COVID-19 with PCR or Rapid Antigen test, and the result being negative.

“A separate certificate will be issued for each test and will not contain any data from previous certificates,” the Commission notes.

Information on the Vaccine passport:

The EU vaccine passport contains the following information:

Each holder’s EU vaccine passport must have the person’s name and surname; date of birth, QR-code and the member state issuing the document.

The passport also contains the names of the vaccine and the manufacturer.

Also, the number of doses administered, date(s) and dates of vaccination are among the information on the passport.

Additionally, the EU passport tells the type of test, date and exact time of test, name of the test centre and the results.

It also contains the date of the positive test result, the name of the issuer of the certificate, date of issuance, validity date

Aim of the EU’s covid-19 digital passport:

The aim of the European COVID-19 travel certificate is to ease safe and free movements in the EU countries.

The passport also aims at removing travel restrictions in the EU, quarantine obligation, and testing.

This is following the union’s restrictions on travels and temporal stopping for over a year now.

Similarly, President Ursula von der Leyen said, the EU digital passport is a symbol of free and safe Europe

He said Europe “puts the health status of her citizens first before any other thing.

He said: “The European Union is delivering for its citizens.

“The European Digital COVID Certificate is a symbol of an open and safe Europe

The symbol means Europe “is opening cautiously putting the protection of the health of our citizens first.

“In March, we promised to have an EU-wide system to facilitate free and safe travel within the EU by the summer holidays.

“Now we can confirm that the EU Digital COVID Certificate system is up and running.

“A vast majority of EU Member States are already connected to the system and ready to issue and verify the Certificates.

The states have generated “More than 200 million certificates.

“We are helping Europeans get back the freedom they value and cherish so much.”

Commission explains:

Explaining further the digital vaccine passport, the EU Commission said,

“When travelling, every Digital Green Certificate holder will have the same rights as citizens of the visited Member State

The green vaccine passport holders have equal rights with citizens of the states.

The citizens could be those already “vaccinated, tested or recovered.”

What EU vaccine passport costs and duration it will last:

The EU vaccine passport officially launched on 1st of July, 2021 and it will remain relevant until June 31, 2022.

On cost, the commission said the green pass is free.

Each EU member state will cover the cost for the vaccine passport.

Anthony Chinonso Ogbonna is the editor of Techuncode media. He is a seasoned journalist whose stint cuts across broadcast, print and, especially, the online media. A graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Anthony holds a Masters Degree in Multimedia Journalism. He aligns his belief with those of world tech communities, holding tenaciously that the world is solely driven and can only be best with tech. Furthermore, Anthony believes that technology is simple, fun and is not what one, especially Africans, should be scared of, hence, his passion for telling compelling stories about tech in ways relatable to the ordinary user. He has his hobbies in reading and designing (new hobby though.)

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