Travel and social activities were among the most affected during the pandemic. Countries and cities ordered lockdowns, restricted movements, and even closed non-essential businesses. With the distribution of various COVID-19 vaccines, the hope for restoration has increased. Countries are adopting digital vaccine passports to ease the restrictions.
While the US has declared it will not issue a federal mandate for the use of digital vaccine passports, other countries have provided citizens with vaccine passports to prove their status.
Some prominent examples of digital vaccine passports follow:
1. Digital Vaccine Passports in Israel
Israel launched the Green Pass earlier in 2021 to allow vaccinated or recovered citizens to access various activities. The Green Pass contains a QR code that can verify the COVID-19 vaccination status of Israelis.
The Green Pass program has been one of the most successful COVID-19 digital health programs, thanks to the country’s high vaccination rates. With the Green pass, vaccinated or recovered Israelis can access activities at gyms, theaters, concerts, synagogues, and hotels. They do this by presenting the Green Pass in its digital format or presenting the printout for scanning.
2. Digital Vaccine Passports in Denmark
Denmark launched its COVID-19 passport, the Coronapas, in April 2021, to facilitate the reopening of non-essential businesses. The Coronapas can show proof of vaccination to help people access businesses, including salons, restaurants, cinemas, and hairdressers.
In addition to proving vaccination against COVID-19, those who have recovered from the coronavirus can use Coronapas as proof of recovery.
People eligible for the Coronapas can access it through the Coronapas app or can use a physical vaccine passport (for those without digital access).
3. Digital Vaccine Passports in the European Union
The EU Digital COVID Certificate allows citizens of EU member states to prove their vaccination against, or recovery from, COVID-19. Those who received a negative test result can also use the certificate as proof of their negative test results.
The certificate is available in each country’s national language and in English. Users can access it in both digital and print formats, which have a QR code with a digital signature to ensure the certificate is authentic. Different countries within the EU are responsible for issuing the certificates to their citizens.
4. Digital Vaccine Passports in Japan
Japan launched its vaccine passport in July 2021 to help vaccinated citizens show proof of their vaccination when traveling. It is available in both Japanese and English to allow the use of the vaccine passport domestically and internationally.
The vaccine passport carries the name, date of birth, type of vaccine, passport number, dates of vaccination, and the municipality of issuance. It is currently available in print, but the government is planning to introduce a digital vaccine certificate later.
Travelers from Japan can use their vaccination passports in countries such as Austria, Belize, Bulgaria, Germany, Honduras, Hong Kong, Italy, some islands of Thailand, Poland, Turkey, Lithuania, and Sri Lanka.
Israel, Denmark, the EU, and Japan are among the countries that have adopted vaccine passports to help their citizens prove their vaccinated status locally and when traveling abroad. These are not the only regions supporting and developing the vaccine passport. Other countries and states have also developed different forms of vaccine certificates to allow vaccinated persons to travel or access social places such as bars, restaurants, and gyms.