The smooth rollout of the EU Digital COVID Certificate is on the high speed. On 1 June, the EU commission reached another great milestone as the EU Gateway, the technical backbone of the EU Digital COVID Certificate system, went live.

EU Digital COVID Certificate.

One may ask, what is the EU Digital COVID Certificate? In a simple term, an EU Digital COVID Certificate is a digital proof that an individual has either:

  • been vaccinated against COVID-19
  • received a negative test result or
  • recovered from COVID-19

Major features of the digital certificate pass

  • Digital and/or paper format
  • with QR code
  • free of charge
  • in national language and English
  • safe and secure
  • valid in all EU countries

How Can Citizens Request the EU Digital COVID Certificate

National authorities are in charge of issuing the EU Digital COVID Certificate. However, it could be issued by test centres or health authorities, or directly via an eHealth portal.

The EU Digital COVID Certificate will be available in digital and paper versions, with both having a QR code that contains essential information, and a digital signature to make sure the certificate is authentic.

All EU Member States have agreed on a common design that can be used for the electronic and paper versions to facilitate the recognition. The digital version can be stored on a mobile device. While citizens can also request a paper version.

EU Digital COVID Certificate of Vaccination: How does it work?

According to the Commission:

  • The EU Digital COVID Certificate contains a QR code with a digital signature to protect it against falsification.
  • When the certificate is checked, the QR code is scanned and the signature verified.
  • Each issuing body (hospital, test centre, health authority) has its own digital signature key. All of these are stored in a secure database in each country.
  • The European Commission has built a gateway through which all certificate signatures can be verified across the EU. The personal data of the certificate holder does not pass through the gateway, as this is not necessary to verify the digital signature. The European Commission also helped Member States to develop national software and apps to issue, store and verify certificates and supported them in the necessary tests to on-board the gateway.

When will the EU Digital COVID Certificate Be in Use

The EU Digital COVID certificate is proposed to be ready by the end of June by the Commission’s. According to the commission, the regulation will enter into full force on 1 July 2021 to ensure the health and safety of all Europeans.

However, after the EU Gateway went live on 1 June 2021, seven EU Member States already connected and started issuing or verifying certificates in a secure and privacy-friendly way. The Seven EU Member States already connected to the EU Gateway are:

  • Bulgaria,
  • Czech Republic,
  • Denmark,
  • Germany,
  • Greece,
  • Croatia, and
  • Poland.

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