Germany introduces digital vaccine passports

Germany introduces digital vaccine passports
AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File
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Germany has started rolling out digital vaccination passes that can be used across Europe as travellers prepare for summer holidays across the continent. 

German Health Minister Jens Spahn said starting this week vaccination centres, doctor’s practices, and pharmacies will gradually start giving out digital passes to those who are fully vaccinated. The 'CovPass’ will allow users to download proof of vaccine status onto a smartphone app, allowing them access to restaurants, cinemas, or other venues that require proof of immunization.

Spahn said the vaccination passport should be available to every citizen in Germany by the end of the month. 

“The goal is that this certificate can also be used in Helsinki, Amsterdam, or Mallorca,” Spahn told reporters in Berlin.

Those who have been fully vaccinated will either receive a QR-code they can scan with their phones, or they can contact their doctors or pharmacies to retroactively receive a digital pass.

“By doing so, we in the European Union are setting a cross-border standard that doesn’t exist elsewhere in the world yet,” he said, adding that a digital vaccination pass is an important step for the revival of international tourist travel.

The country’s disease control agency, the Robert Koch Institute, reported Thursday that 47 per cent of the population have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and almost 24 per cent are fully vaccinated.

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