Sweden and Denmark have announced they will begin the development of digital vaccine certificates for travel and eventually other motives.
The two Nordic nations say the certificates will be designed to enable holders to travel abroad, but also hinted they might potentially be used for sports or cultural events.
Sweden, for its part, is trying to push for an international standard for digital certificates which would be able to be used around the world. The nation’s Digitalisation Minister, Anders Ygeman, is reported to have stated that three different authorities in Sweden have been asked to work on producing the certificate in eventual coordination with the World Health Organisation and the European Union.
“With a digital vaccine certificate, it will be quick and easy to prove a completed vaccination,” Ygeman stated.
Denmark’s Finance Minister Morten Boedskov told a news conference that “in three, four months, a digital corona passport will be ready for use in, for example, business travel.”
Swedish authorities say they hope to have the infrastructure to issue digital certificates in place by June.
In a first step, Denmark, plans to initially publish a registry online that will be able to be accessed to check an individual’s vaccination status. This should be in place in late February.
In January, the World Health Organisation said that “for the time being”, they oppose vaccine passports being used as a requirement for travel.
Other nations are already lining up behind Denmark and Sweden when it comes to the idea of a vaccination passport, including Spain, Belgium, Iceland and Estonia.
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen in January backed the idea of using certificates to identify people who have had the jab, but added that “whether that gives a priority or access to certain goods, this is a political and legal decision that has to be discussed on the European level.”
“Vaccination passports” or “vaccination certificates” have gained huge attention in the recent weeks in Europe, after several EU Member States indicated they would start issuing them to their citizens, so those who are vaccinated against COVID-19 have proof of it.
The idea of such documents has been supported even by the European Council, though the latter insists that right now it is too early to decide for what those certificates could be used.
“Leaders agreed to work on a standardised and interoperable form of proof of vaccination for medical purposes. Leaders will determine at a later stage in what circumstances these certificates could be used,” the Council noted in a press release of January 21, after the Greek PM brought the issue to the video meeting.
Previously, the President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen had supported the idea of common vaccination certificates, which can be created by the EU, and issued by the Member States to every person who gets vaccinated against COVID-19.