How do countries implement the ‘Covid green card’?

More and more countries are considering using the Covid green card as a tool to reopen and facilitate the resumption of social and cultural activities.

A Covid green card, with different names for each country, is an electronic or hardcopy document that helps the holder prove that he or she has received the Covid-19 vaccine or has recovered from nCoV infection. Even if the government has not yet made a decision, many businesses in some countries have already started asking for a Covid green card, as long as the local government does not prevent this.

The perks available to Covid green card holders vary from country to country. Most accept both a negative test result for nCoV in the near future, having had a vaccine, or a certificate of having had Covid-19 and recovered.

Israel, one of the most successful implementations of immunization programs in the world, introduced its temporary green card system earlier this year for the first time. This is a QR code that people can present through a phone app, or print out to prove their vaccination status, which has become the template for most other countries’ systems.

People hold up a Covid green card before entering a performance in Tel Aviv, Israel, on February 24.  Photo: Reuters.

People hold up Covid green cards before entering a performance in Tel Aviv, Israel, on February 24. Photo: Reuters.

Green cards in Israel are issued to people over 12 years old who have been vaccinated or recovered from the virus. Those who test negative for nCoV can also be issued a temporary card, valid for 72 hours.

Green card holders are allowed to participate in major events and to enter certain public places such as gyms, hotels, theatres, restaurants and bars, tourist attractions and places of worship. This regulation further accelerates the Covid-19 vaccination campaign in Israel, especially among young people.

Israel suspended its green card program in June, when most restrictions were lifted thanks to a sharp drop in the number of infections. However, a new serious outbreak because of the Delta mutation prompted the government to reintroduce the green card rule from the end of July.

European Union (EU) in July also implemented a vaccine passport system, which is applied in all 27 member countries along with Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

Citizens in these countries, along with legal residents, can print or present an electronic version of the pass through the app. On the passport there is a unique QR code that stores personal information about vaccinations, recovery or testing.

Grantees include people who have been fully vaccinated, recently infected with nCoV and recovered, or have just tested negative for nCoV. Only those who have received vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency, including Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, will be certified.

Anyone holding a passport is exempt from testing and isolation when traveling across borders within the EU, or four other European countries in the program. This passport system is expected to be applied until the end of June 2022.

Some EU countries also apply their own type of certification, such as a medical card in France. Cinemas, museums, sports venues, events or gatherings of more than 50 people are required to present this card for all adults from the beginning of August and children over 12 years of age from 30/ 9. Conditions for issuing the card are similar to the EU vaccine passport.

Italy is also quickly following in the footsteps of France, announcing that proof of vaccinations or immunity will soon become mandatory for activities such as dining on-site, or entering places such as gyms, swimming pools, or spas. museums and cinemas. Officials said vaccination registrations actually spiked following the announcement.

The printed version (left) and the electronic version of the vaccine passport in the EU.  Photo: Schengen Visa Info.

The printed version (left) and the electronic version of the vaccine passport in the EU. Photo: Schengen Visa Info.

While, China since last year has issued a QR code system to classify people by different colors. Those classified as green are allowed to travel without restrictions, while yellow code holders may be asked to self-isolate at home for seven days. Color grading is based on a combination of big data and user-provided information.

Instead of an electronic passport, the color-coded health code system displayed in this WeChat app has been used by China to control travel if people are in outbreak areas.

However, in March, China also started rolling out an electronic version of the Covid green card, containing information on the owner’s vaccination status and test results, apparently mainly for tourism. international.

Both Chinese nationals and foreigners in the country can be issued with a Covid green card. The expectation is that Chinese people in the future can use this card in other countries. It is not clear which countries China is discussing with to have their Covid green cards recognized.

Meanwhile, many countries are still cautious about the Covid green card program America. In April, the White House rejected this option, citing the need to protect civil rights and privacy. However, in some cities like New Orleans, New York, and San Francisco, venues like restaurants or theaters still require vaccination certificates.

Some states, including California and New York, have created electronic certificates that help residents confirm their vaccination records and convert them to QR codes on their phones. But most sites that require proof of vaccination still accept simpler forms, like a paper injection date card provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ordinary people just need to show a photo of this card on their phone is enough.

People who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in Australia The certificate is also issued electronically on the phone via the Express Plus Medicare app, but with no accompanying perks.

Australian Federal Tourism Minister Dan Tehan said in the future this certificate could help people move across borders during a blockade order, or if several areas in a state are locked down because of the disease. .

Brother, the country that announced it would launch the Covid green card program by the end of this month, on September 12 decided to cancel the plan. According to British Health Secretary Sajid Javid, the government does not consider this move necessary in the current epidemic situation, when the rate of vaccine coverage in the UK is relatively high.

Earlier, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that “full vaccination will be a condition for entering nightclubs and other crowded places”. However, Minister Javid said the idea of ​​having to show documents at entertainment venues made him uncomfortable. Some opponents even call it a violation of civil liberties.

In Southeast Asia, Cambodia become a “vaccination phenomenon”. As of September 6, the country has given at least one dose to two-thirds of the population, of which 53% are fully vaccinated. With this rate, in Southeast Asia, Cambodia is only behind Singapore, which has fully vaccinated more than three-quarters of the population.

Cambodia issues vaccination certificates to people in the form of hard plastic cards, produced at the Institute of Health Sciences. The facility has produced more than one million vaccination cards and has distributed around 800,000 cards to residents.

Cambodia vaccination card template.  Photo: Cambodian Embassy in the US.

Cambodia vaccination card template. Photo: Cambodian Embassy in the US.

Cambodia’s vaccination card has the person’s name in Khmer and English, phone number, passport or identity card number, vaccine name and date and time of injection, as well as a QR code printed on the card. This QR code shows travel history and epidemiology so that authorities can easily check and control.

General Ith Sarath, deputy commander-in-chief of the Cambodian army, which is in charge of part of the country’s vaccination campaign, said it has imported an additional card production line that can print 100,000 cards a day, to ensure all Those who have been vaccinated receive a certificate. Immunization cards are given out free of charge to people injecting vaccines by Cambodia.

Observers say that it is too early to conclude whether the Covid green card program is effective or not. However, the way it is deployed and what happens in the pioneer countries can provide useful lessons.

Luster (Follow BBC, ABC, AP)

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