The Government has applied to link the U.K. to the E.U.’s Covid vaccine passport scheme – “to make journeys easier”, according to officials. More significant is the fact that joining it would enable ministers to launch a domestic vaccine passport scheme more quickly. The Telegraph has the story.
The Telegraph has been told by the E.U. that integration of the U.K.’s vaccine database into the E.U. system is at an advanced stage.
“Significant progress was made on a technical front, namely when it comes to the connection to the gateway, with aim of going live [testing] soon,” said a spokesman for the European Commission.
The U.K. Foreign Office and Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have joint responsibility for the project in the U.K. They formally applied to join the E.U. scheme on July 28th, and technical work has been carrying on behind the scenes ever since.
“We have applied to link into the E.U.’s Digital Covid Certificate scheme,” said a Foreign office spokesman. “Linking up to the E.U.’s Digital Covid Certificate scheme will enable us to digitally verify each other’s Covid certificates to make journeys easier.”
The E.U. Digital Covid Certificate has quickly become the biggest vaccine passport scheme in the world and covers more than 40 countries, including all 27 E.U. states and others as far afield as Israel and Panama.
The system is effectively a giant digital platform or “gateway” through which different countries’ vaccine certificates and test results can be scanned and verified as legitimate by others quickly and easily.
It is is used on all external EU borders and also for domestic vaccine passports schemes operating in countries including France, Holland and Portugal.
Worth reading in full.