The COVID passport is gaining popularity around the world, as several countries and cities have chosen to implement it.
Among these countries we can find Austria and Denmark. Then, a few weeks ago France joined the list, only people who can provide a vaccine certification, a negative test, or proof that they are cured, will have access to certain places.
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In the spring, Hungary, Austria, and Denmark were among the first European countries to implement COVID certificate systems. In Denmark for example, it is still mandatory to access various places, such as hair salons or gyms.
Furthermore, Hungary, which had a quick vaccination roll out using Russian and Chinese vaccines, began issuing “immunity certificates” since March.
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In the case of Austria, since the general reopening took place in mid-May, it was mandatory to present a negative test, an antibody certificate, or a vaccination certificate in hotels, restaurants, gyms, museums, concerts, hair salons, and sporting events. This rule remains in effect.
European certificate to travel
The European certificate uses a code that allows authorities to check if the carrier is vaccinated or has a recent negative test. This document’s use started on July 1 in the European Union.
It allows travelers to cross the borders of 33 countries. These include the 27 Member States of the European Union and six other neighbor countries (Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, and Switzerland). In any case, the rules vary according to the destination and the country of origin.
Limited use in Portugal and Ireland
In Portugal, a health pass is required to stay in a hotel or for group classes in gyms. It is also mandatory to access the interior rooms of the restaurants, but only on weekends and holidays.
In Ireland, the COVID certificate is only necessary to access the interior rooms of restaurants and pubs.
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Extensive use in France and Italy
In France, the COVID certificate became mandatory on July 21 to enter cultural and leisure establishments (museums, cinemas, theme parks, festivals, fairs) that host more than 50 people.
It is extended (for those over 18 years old) to cafes, restaurants, airplanes, trains, buses for long trips and business trips. The certificate will also be mandatory for visitors or patients at clinics and hospitals (unless they have to go to the ER) and nursing homes.
Italian authorities decided to make the covid passport mandatory from August 6 to enter movie theaters, museums, and gyms, and to eat inside restaurants.
This “Green Pass” will be mandatory for passengers on domestic flights, long-distance trains, and ferries from September 1, as well as for teachers, staff of schools and universities, and university students.
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Policies in Spain and Germany
In Spain, Galicia (north) introduced the health certificate to access bars, restaurants, and nightclubs in the most affected municipalities. Similar measures were blocked by the courts in the Canary Islands and Andalusia (south).
In Germany, depending on the federal states, a vaccination certificate or negative test may be required to access places such as hotels, gyms, and cinemas.
Partially established in Israel
Faced with new outbreaks, Israel partially established the certificate at the beginning of August. Only people who are fully vaccinated, cured of covid-19, or who have a negative PCR test can enter a place that welcomes more than 100 people, indoors or outdoors.
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New York (USA) and Quebec (Canada)
Amid a new COVID-19 outbreak, in the United States, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the “Key to NYC”, meaning covid certificates, is being used from August 16, followed by a one-month transition period.
This consists of a proof of vaccination for “employees and customers of restaurants, sports scenarios, and theaters”. In this way, New York City will be the first of the big cities of the United States to implement a health certificate.
In Quebec, Canada, people who wants to eat inside a restaurant, exercise in the gym, or attend a festival must present a covid passport as of September 1, the Minister of Health of this province, Christian Dubé, announced.
“Our goal with the passport is to avoid new lockdowns and, at the same time, to avoid crowding our hospitals”, he said during a press conference.
Quebec is the first province in Canada to implement the health passport, mandatory for anyone who wants to “access crowded public events and activities with high rates of contact and socialization.”
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Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina
In Chile, to obtain the health passport, the people must present an affidavit, through the website of the Ministry of Health, in addition to undergoing a temperature check and answering the questions of the health authorities.
It is important to point out that this document has not been made mandatory to access leisure activities or venues. On the other hand, the Chilean Embassy in Colombia updated its protected borders plan on Tuesday, which states that only Chilean and foreign citizens who are permanent residents will be allowed to enter the country.
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In Uruguay, the Ministry of Public Health (MSP by its abbreviation in Spanish) enabled on its website the option to get “Authorization to enter Uruguay”, or “covid passport”, which must be filled out by anyone who wishes to enter the country. Uruguay could be one of the first countries in Latin America to apply the health certificate for travel. Keep in mind that it has not been made mandatory for leisure activities or places such as restaurants or cafes.
In Argentina the covid passport has been available since July 26. “Starting Monday, we will begin to use the Covid Passport, which will enable businesses to increase their capacity by 20% with Buenos Aires residents who were vaccinated at least 21 days before with the first dose”, said the former mayor of La Matanza, Verónica Magario, in her twitter account.
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