April 5, 2021

Michalopoulou & Associates: Is Digital Green Certificate: more than a Vaccine Passport

The European Commission has already proposed the Digital Green Certificate in order to facilitate safe free movement inside the European Union during the COVID-19 pandemic and to allow unrestricted travel before the upcoming summer. As a legally binding instrument, the Digital Green Certificate seems to be a risk mitigation element.

The Certificate constitutes an easy to use, non-discriminatory and secure tool that fully respects data protection and support free movement in the EU. With the Digital Green Certificate, the EU citizens and their family can travel safely with minimum restrictions this summer.

The proposed Regulation on Digital Green Certificate lays down accessible and secure certificates for all EU citizens and covers three types of certificates

  1. The first type concerns people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19
  2. The second type concerns people who received a negative test result
  3. The third concerns people who recovered from COVID-19

The certificates will be available free of charge. 

Furthermore, the Commission aims to build a gateway and support Member States to develop software that authorities can use to verify all certificate signatures across the EU. It is noteworthy that NO personal data of the certificate holders passes through the gateway or is retained by the verifying Member State.

Additionally, the Digital Green Certificate will not be a pre-condition to free movement, and it will not discriminate in any way. According to the aforementioned Regulation, any limitations to the freedom of movement within the EU justified on grounds of public policy, public security or public health must be necessary, proportionate and based on objective and non-discriminatory criteria.

As far as the personal data is concerned, the certificate will include only essential information such as name, date of birth, date of issue, relevant information about vaccine/test/recovery and a unique identifier of the certificate. This data can be checked only to confirm and verify the authenticity and validity of certificates.

The Digital Green Certificate will be valid in all EU Member States and open for Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway as well as Switzerland and it will very probably contribute to reinforcing tourism, which is essential to some member states, like Greece, Cyprus and Italy, which rely economically on tourism.

Therefore, the Digital Green Certificate is much more than a vaccine passport. It is considered to be a document that will describe the medical situation of the individuals who hold it.

This Article was originally published in Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6780136467441192960/