EU and WHO Aiming for Universal Recognition of Health Certificates

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The EU and the World Health Organization (WHO) are working to achieve the universal recognition of the so-called digital green certificates, which will enable restriction-free travel between member states, the European Commission announced on twitter.

The Commission said it is aiming to launch the certificates by summer, adding that it was working closely with EU countries to identify technical solutions that can be deployed rapidly; to ensure that the authenticity of certificates can be checked securely throughout the EU; and to enable mutual recognition.

The Commission is expected to present its proposal for the digital green certificates next week. Any decision will require European Parliament and member states approval. Once the proposal is approved, EU nations will have to set up digital infrastructure by the summer that will facilitate certificate authentication and introduce the necessary changes to their national health record systems.

Digital green certificates will indicate whether a person has been vaccinated against Covid-19, recovered from Covid-19, or holds a negative test result.

The digital document should meet all data protection, security, and privacy requirements and be set up on the basis of the interoperability guidelines and the common data set for test results to which EU countries have agreed already, the Commission said, adding that it was currently working with WHO to ensure that the documents issued in the EU will be recognized worldwide.