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How is the green vaccination pass from the EU different?

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Proof of a corona vaccination is a key to more freedom, not only when traveling within the EU. But who will get it? And how? This is how the “green certificate” system works around the EU green vaccination pass.

On July 1, 2021, the EU Digital COVID Certificate Regulation went into effect. Digital COVID Certificates will now be produced and confirmed across the EU for EU citizens and residents.

The right to free movement of persons within the EU has been severely restricted in recent months due to the corona crisis. The EU’s green vaccination pass is intended to make traveling in all member states much easier again. The project was launched in mid-March and should be operational in the entire EU area by July 1, 2021. All necessary data should be stored in the vaccination record if a person has been fully vaccinated or tested negative or has survived Covid 19 disease.

The freedom of travel was significantly restricted in the course of the corona crisis. The inconsistent infection situation in the European countries, the different progression of vaccinations and the individual regulations of the 27 member states of the EU have made traveling increasingly difficult. In order to be able to give people the right to free movement within the EU again, the EU would like to provide a uniform digital solution with the green vaccination pass that makes it easier to cross borders.

What is documented with the green vaccination certificate?

The green vaccination certificate should be recognized uniformly within the EU in all 27 member states. It should serve as evidence for the following points:

  • The person has been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
  • The person tested negative for the coronavirus.
  • The person survived a Covid-19 illness and has recovered.

What are the criteria of the green vaccination certificate?

So that the vaccination certificate can be used and presented everywhere, it should meet certain criteria that are necessary for entry:

  • The vaccination certificate should be available in digital form or in paper format.
  • The proof is provided with an individual QR code.
  • The green vaccination certificate should be free for every EU citizen.
  • It must be possible to provide evidence in the respective national language or in English.
  • The vaccination certificate should be highly reliable.
  • It is valid in all EU countries.

How do I get the green vaccination pass and where is the vaccination certificate issued?

The green vaccination certificate should be the responsibility of the local authorities. If a complete vaccination and a negative test has been carried out, this should be recorded in the proof of the hospitals, doctors, test centers or the local health authorities.

With the digital version, the proof can simply be saved on the smartphone. Alternatively, the vaccination certificate can also be requested in paper form. With both variants, an individual QR code is created with the necessary central information and a digital authenticity seal.

The vaccination certificate can be issued directly in the vaccination center or in the doctor’s office after the second vaccination. It is then available in printed form or as a QR code to save on the smartphone. People who have already been fully vaccinated can have the certificate issued in pharmacies since June 14th, 2021. The yellow vaccination certificate and ID card are required for this.

In which apps is the digital vaccination record saved?

The digital vaccination certificate can be saved in the official Corona warning app or in the CovPass app. Both apps can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Service.

How will the green vaccination card make traveling easier?

With the introduction of the proof, all entry regulations individually imposed by the EU member states will be dropped. The applicable restrictions are to be lifted for EU citizens or third-country nationals who are legally residing in the EU or who live here and who have a digital green certificate.

Should a member state of the EU require an alternative test certificate or the commencement of quarantine in addition to the vaccination certificate, it must be able to report this to the responsible EU Commission and to the other member states and be able to justify it.

How do the vaccination records work in practice?

The uniform functioning of the vaccination passports is intended to guarantee that they are easy to use in the EU:

  • The vaccination pass is given a QR code with a digital signature to protect against possible counterfeiting.
  • The QR code and signature are checked when entering the country or when checking the vaccination pass.
  • For each issuing authority, be it a hospital, doctor or vaccination center, an individual signature key is generated, which is stored in the vaccination pass. These are stored in a secure database and can be called up within the entire EU during an inspection.
  • To ensure this, the EU Commission will set up an interface with which the signatures can be checked for correctness. Personal data is not transmitted during this process, as it is not necessary to check the signature.

Can I travel without the green vaccination certificate?

Yes, it is still possible to travel without a green vaccination certificate. With the digital proof, however, border crossings should be made easier. The basic right to free movement of persons within the EU should not be restricted by any regulations. However, the vaccination certificate can also be used to prove necessary test results, which are required by many countries for entry.

Are there any restrictions on the vaccine you receive?

No. The vaccine does not play a role in the digital proof. If the vaccine is recognized within the EU, it is also valid within the community when it is administered.

Which data is recorded in the green vaccination certificate?

The digital vaccination certificate should contain all the necessary information that is important for a trip. This includes:

  • Name and date of birth of the holder
  • Date of issue of the vaccination certificate
  • Vaccine / test / recovery information
  • An individual identifier

Upon entry, the states are only allowed to check the signature and its correctness. Personal data may not be stored there. They remain with the Member State that issued the digital green certificate.


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Michelle Halterman
USA, China, South Africa and now Munich - Michelle has come a long way in the world. She is an outdoor person and loves to be in nature with friends and on her mountain bike. Or she meets up with friends for pasta, vino, cappaccino & Co.
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