France has this week announced the launch of a brand new Covid-19 health passport that is set to allow travel in between its overseas territories and eventually all across Europe. The new app function will allow vaccinated citizens—as well as those who have tested negative for the virus—to travel freely.
The digital pass is quite similar in concept to many of the other vaccine passports that countries around the world are currently discussing and comes as a great test case for countries considering a similar application.
Cédric O, Secretary of State for the Digital Sector of France, told reporters that, “France is the first country [in the EU] to make this functionality available to its citizens” and that it’s expected to offer “two advantages; the forgery-proof nature of the test and its speed of reading.”
Labs and pharmacies will work as testing facilities that will work to send Covid-19 test results to an external system managed by the French health system. From there, the results will be signed off on to guarantee authenticity before being added to the “booklet” section of the app.
Those who have received one or two doses of the vaccine will receive a digital certificate that will also be signed off on before appearing in the app.
While the app is expected to create a much safer way to travel as more people in France and Europe become vaccinated, the system will first be tested on those travelling between mainland France and Corsica before opening up to other French territories and eventually the rest of Europe.
French President Emmanuel Macron also recently announced that the country will be working on another “special pass” that is supposed to enable vaccinated American travellers to visit France by the summer of this year.