European Union residents will be able to confirm that they have been vaccinated against Covid-19, received a negative test result or recovered from the illness using an EU-wide Digital Green Certificate by the summer, according to a legislative proposal issued by the European Commission.
The certificate will include a QR code with information about the holder’s vaccination, test or recovery status as well as a digital signature to authenticate that information.
The EC is proposing to create the certificate as an “easy to use, non-discriminatory and secure tool” that will “facilitate safe free movement inside the EU during the Covid-19 pandemic”.
“When the certificate is checked, the QR code is scanned and the signature verified,” the EC says.
“Each issuing body (eg a hospital, a test centre, a health authority) has its own digital signature key. All of these are stored in a secure database in each country.
“The European Commission will build a gateway. Through this gateway, all certificate signatures can be verified across the EU.
“The personal data encoded in the certificate does not pass through the gateway, as this is not necessary to verify the digital signature.
“The European Commission will also help member states to develop software that authorities can use to check the QR codes.”
“The Digital Green Certificate will be valid in all EU member states and open for Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway as well as Switzerland,” the EC says, adding that it is “working with the World Health Organization to ensure that certificates issued in the EU can be recognised elsewhere in the world”.
The certificate will be provided free of charge and will also be available in paper form.
The EC announced that it was drawing up a legislative proposal for an EU-wide digital vaccine certificate earlier this month.