Denmark to launch digital ‘vaccination passport’ to open up travel

Denmark has announced plans to launch its very own digital “vaccination passport” to show whether travellers have received the coronavirus inoculation.

The hope is that this will help open up travel again and ease restrictions.

Current projections are that “in three, four months, a digital corona passport will be ready for use in, for example, business travel,” according to Danish finance minister Morten Boedskov, reports Associated Press.

By the end of February, Danish citizens should have access to a website that confirms whether or not they have had the vaccine.

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The wider digital “passport” will be developed from there.

“It will be the extra passport that you will be able to have on your mobile phone that documents that you have been vaccinated,” Boedskov said.  

“We can be among the first in the world to have it and can show it to the rest of the world.”

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He emphasised that opening up travel and Danish society as a whole would be “absolutely crucial” in getting the nation’s businesses back on track.

Other global initiatives are currently working to develop a vaccine passport that can be adopted worldwide, with a standardised framework so that different countries’ border agents can recognise and trust it.

One such project is CommonPass, launched by the World Economic Forum and The Commons Project, a Swiss non-profit foundation.

Their original goal was to enable safer, smoother travel, allowing travellers to securely carry their Covid-19 test result in a standardised format that is instantly recognisable to border officials at the country they’re entering.

Now that vaccination programmes are being rolled out worldwide, this certified, standardised approach could also be applied to proof of immunisation.

“Without the ability to trust Covid-19 tests – and eventually vaccine records – across international borders, many countries will feel compelled to retain full travel bans and mandatory quarantines for as long as the pandemic persists,” said Dr Bradley Perkins, chief medical officer of The Commons Project and former chief strategy and innovation officer at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at the time of launch.  

“With trusted individual health data, countries can implement more nuanced health screening requirements for entry.”

The project is currently still in the trials stage.

The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has also said it is working on a digital platform that will allow passengers to prove their tests and vaccination results “in a verifiable, safe and privacy-protecting manner”.

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