China launched its first vaccine passport to allow Chinese citizens to travel. This is a digital certificate showing the vaccination status of the topic with test results accessible through the WeChat social platform.
At the moment, the passport, which can also be paper, is only available to Chinese citizens and it is not mandatory.
The initiative was launched by the Consular Affairs Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said the aim of the initiative is to help promote global economic recovery and facilitate cross-border travel.
The vaccine passport includes information on nucleic acid tests, serum antibody results, vaccination with the vaccine and other relevant information. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that in the near future, with more and more countries agreeing on the need for mutual recognition of health certificates, this international travel document will play a greater role in promoting the healthy, safe and orderly exchange of personnel and the provision of Chinese. Citizens have a strong guarantee when traveling abroad.
The new China News Agency (Xinhua) reported that the Chinese vaccine passport includes an encrypted QR code that allows each country to obtain information about the health of travelers. Health QR codes within WeChat and other Chinese smartphone apps are already required in China to access local transportation and many public places.
The apps track the user’s location and generate a green icon, which is synonymous with good health, if the user has not been in close contact with a confirmed case or has not reached a virus contact point. However, the system raised privacy concerns.
The United States and Great Britain are also considering using similar digital passports. The European Union is working to issue a green transit permit for citizens to travel between and outside the European Union.
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