Covid-19 Vaccine ‘Passports,’ Passes and Apps Around the Globe

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Isn’t the European Union also developing a system? Yes. On June 21, the E.U. is expected to introduce a certificate called a Digital Green Pass, with the aim of allowing people who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus to travel more freely. Under the proposed rules, each nation within the bloc could decide which travel restrictions, such as obligatory quarantine, to waive for Digital Green holders. But many countries, including Denmark, say they cannot afford to wait for the Digital Green Pass and are developing their own versions.

Credit…Isabel Kershner

Name of card: The Green Pass

Could it get you an indoor table? Yes.

How about entry to a concert or sports game? That, too.

Anything else? The pass allows you to enter many businesses, including swimming pools, gyms, theaters and wedding halls, as well as cultural events, such as concerts, sports games and religious gatherings. Having the pass may also mean that you may not have to quarantine for 10 to 14 days after international travel.

How does it work? In late February, Israel’s ministry of health began offering the Green Pass to fully vaccinated residents and individuals who have recovered from Covid-19. When booking a table at a restaurant, many of the businesses began to ask, “Do you have a Green Pass?” Israelis can print their certificates containing a QR code, download the code onto their phones or flash the app itself.

What’s with that family? The app and other Green Pass materials feature an animated illustration of a family of three. The man is wearing shorts, a backpack and a camera around his neck, suggesting he’s on vacation. His son and wife are wearing masks, but their postures are relaxed as they pull their suitcases.

Aparna Nair, a professor of science history at the University of Oklahoma who maintains a collection of vaccination certificates going back to the 1820s, said that this detail was noteworthy: “They are using the design of the vaccine passport to form visual connections with life after the pandemic, essentially, the vaccine as a literal passport to the rest of the world.”

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