Switzerland will follow the example of some other European countries and launch ‘COVID-19 certificates’ almost a month ahead of the deadline for its implementation.
The Swiss government has announced that today, on June 7, it will start distributing such documents that aim to facilitate travel within the European countries for all vaccinated persons and those who tested negative or recovered from the disease; SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In this regard, authorities in Switzerland are still working out the details in order to decide which restrictions may be lifted in the country when the certificates start to be used.
“The goal of the certificate is clear: it should create freedom of movement by showing one has been vaccinated, recovered or tested. In particular, it will make travel in the Schengen area simpler,” the country’s Finance Minister, Ueli Maurer, pointed out during a news conference held in Bern, referring to the borderless area of Schengen that also includes Switzerland.
Authorities in Switzerland clarified that the certificates would be issued in both hard copy and electronic format.
According to Swiss officials, the scheme is compatible with the EU norms.
Switzerland’s COVID-19 travel certificates are created to protect the privacy of their users. At the same time, they also include apps for checking and storing the documents that will be available free of charge in Google and Apple app stores.
“The system includes, among other things, a storage app, COVID Certificate, and a checking app, COVID Certificate Check. Both apps will be available free of charge in the official app stores of Google and Apple,” the government’s statement reads.
Earlier this month, Switzerland’s authorities unfolded their plans for the COVID-19 vaccination passport system under the Federal Office of Information Technology, Systems and Telecommunication (FOITT) solution while announcing that it would soon be implemented.
Based on World Health Organization figures, almost 700,000 people have tested positive for the virus in Switzerland, and a total of over 10,000 people have died since the beginning of the pandemic.
Even though the country is keeping in place some of the measures imposed to prevent the further spread of the Coronavirus, it has joined the initiative of many European countries to facilitate the travel process and help the travel and tourism sector get out of the financial crisis caused by the virus by launching COVID-19 documents.
Despite the deadline for implementing the certificates on July 1, earlier this month, on June 1, seven of the following European countries started issuing travel certificates: Denmark, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Croatia, Poland and Germany.