China launches digital certificate, precursor to 'virus passport'

WION Web Team
Beijing Published: Mar 09, 2021, 01:54 PM(IST)

People walk pass the thermal scanning area Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Several countries including the United States and Britain have been considering implementing vaccine permits including the European Union which has been contemplating a "green pass".

Pandemic-hit China on Tuesday launched a digital certificate that displays user's vaccination status and virus test results for domestic travellers paving the way for a "virus passport" in the future.

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China's foreign ministry said the certificate is being rolled out "to help promote world economic recovery and facilitate cross-border travel". According to reports, the certificate is not yet mandatory.

Several countries including the United States and Britain have been considering implementing vaccine permits including the European Union which has been contemplating a "green pass".

"We'll present this month a legislative proposal for a Digital Green Pass," European Commission Ursula von der Leyen had said as Europe continues to battle the pandemic.

Greece had earlier asked the European Commission to allow "vaccine certificates" to be used for travel in the EU. Spain has also backed the vaccine passport with foreign minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya stating that it is "a very important element to guarantee a safe return to mobility".

Sweden and Denmark have already announced electronic certificates to track vaccinated people, however, France has expressed reservations on vaccine certificates.

Israel has already rolled out the "green pass" scheme with over 3.2 million Israelis eligible as the country speeds ahead with its vaccination programme.

Israel has one of the world's most sophisticated medical data systems secured a substantial stock of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by paying above the market price.

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