The International Air Transport Association (IATA) praised the European Commission for delivering the EU Digital COVID Certificate (EU DCC) in record time and urged countries around the world to adopt the document as the standard for digital vaccine certificates.
In a press release issued by the association, its Deputy Director-General Conrad Clifford is quoted to have said that the EU COVID Certificate should be an example for countries planning to create such a document, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“The DCC was delivered in record time to help facilitate the reopening of EU states to travel. In the absence of a single global standard for digital vaccine certificates, it should serve as a blueprint for other nations looking to implement digital vaccination certificates to help facilitate travel and its associated economic benefits,” Clifford said.
“IATA wishes to offer its collaboration to the EU Commission and any other interested state to further integrate the DCC into airline processes for a secure and seamless passenger experience, such as support for selective disclosure of personal data.”
The document can be issued in both paper and digital formats, and it includes a QR code that contains vital information about the holder. All EU citizens who have been fully immunised against COVID-19, recovered from the virus, or recently tested negative are eligible to obtain the document. The document is free of charge and is issued in the travellers’ native language as well as English because it is valid in all EU and Schengen Area countries.
The gateway enables travellers to authenticate certificate signatures across the EU and can be used to share protected data with other issuers, making it suitable for cross-border travel.
Furthermore, the document is being issued and verified in all 27 EU member states, with North Macedonia, Turkey, and Ukraine joining the gateway on August 20.
“As we fight the pandemic together, our partners are also an integral part of opening up safely together. I welcome Ukraine, North Macedonia and Turkey in our Digital COVID Certificate system and look forward to more of our neighbours connecting soon,” Commissioner Várhelyi said while welcoming the countries to the gateway.
Around 60 other countries intend to use DCC specifics because they have been approved and recognised by both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Previously, IATA recognised the vaccination certificates issued by the EU and the United Kingdom, allowing holders of the documents to travel freely between the countries by presenting digitally or physically proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or recovery from the virus.
Until August 27, the EU countries, as well as Norway, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Iceland, Turkey, Ukraine, and North Macedonia, had issued over 350 million of these certificates.
By Joe Cusmano