The EU have officially announced that they will introduce a Covid Digital certificate scheme to enable travel across the EU, and this scheme is set to be launching in June 2021. Also known simply as vaccination passports or digital green certificates, these documents will make it much easier for tourists to travel throughout the EU and demonstrate their current Covid status with ease. This is great news for Spain, as Spanish citizens will not only be able to travel using these passports, it will also make it easier for tourists to return to the country. Here’s everything we know about the Spanish and European Covid digital passport scheme so far:
What Information Will the Covid Digital Certificate Contain?
Many people are concerned about what kind of personal information will be included on the vaccine passport, but as well as sharing your name the most pertinent information included will be your date of birth, its date of issue, and a unique identifier. The digital certificate will also show whether you have:
- been vaccinated against Covid-19
- or received a negative Covid test result
- or recovered from Covid-19
How Will the Covid Passport Work?
Everyone in the EU will be eligible to access the covid passport, which can be used in either paper or digital format, and will feature a QR code for ease and speed of use. It can be accessed in either the language of its country of origin, or in English. Using it has been designed to be simple: The European Commission intends to create a portal to verify all certificate signatures throughout the EU, so that it cannot be forged, keeping everyone safe.
Where Can I Get My Digital Green Certificate?
Although the covid passport scheme is an EU wide initiative, it is up to each member country to issue, stamp and deliver the individual passports. In Spain, this will be the responsibility of Spain’s autonomous communities, for those travelling between Spain and another EU country. This is true whether you opt for an electronic (QR Wallet, PDF with QR) or paper certificate. The exact logistics of this are yet to be confirmed but, according to La Moncloa website: “The ministerial department will issue certificates in special cases, and offer the necessary technical coordination and support to the regional authorities. Laboratories will also participate, tasked with facilitating the information so that the Certificates can be issued”.
What Are the Benefits of Using the Digital Green Certificate?
The main purpose, and benefit, of the digital green certificate scheme is to enable the tourism industry to restart with confidence. You will need to have this vaccination passport if you want to travel across the EU this summer.
Even if you’re not planning to travel overseas, the digital green certificate will still benefit Spanish citizens, as it will allow other EU citizens and residents to enter Spain without having to quarantine or present a negative Covid test if they instead show a “digital green certificate” or vaccine passport. This will be vital to ensuring that the Spanish tourism industry can start working again. Any further implications and conditions that would benefit from securing this passport have not yet been clarified by the EU.
Are There any Negatives of Using the Digital Green Certificate?
There is no way of knowing if there will be any negatives of the scheme until it is fully operational, but it has been designed to be non discriminatory, and will not be a precondition to free movement: it will just make movement faster and smoother. The European Commission’s Vice-President for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová has clarified this by saying: “The certificate is designed not to be discriminatory, so it not only certifies that a person has been vaccinated, but also accredits other circumstances to promote normality such as having been vaccinated, being in possession of a negative diagnostic test or having recovered from the disease.”
When Will the Digital Green Certificate Be Available?
Although no exact date has been set, the digital green certificate should be ready to use by June; “Our intention is to have it ready by June so that it can be operational by the end of that same month and fully operational during the summer season,” General Secretary of Digital Health Alfredo González has confirmed. The European Commission will launch the scheme at the same time that it is launched across Spain.
“This is a process of great complexity that requires full coordination, as we are witnessing at present, between the Ministry of Health and the regional governments”, reads the Spanish government website, “including the involvement of the Ministries of Industry, Trade and Tourism, of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, and of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, along with other agents such as airlines”.
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