France is first EU member state to start testing digital COVID-19 travel certificate
France has become the first European country to begin testing a digital Covid-19 travel certificate as part of a Europe-wide scheme which Brussels hopes will allow more freedom of travel within the bloc by the summer.
The testing will be conducted through France’s TousAntiCovid app, part of the country’s contact tracing programme, which has been upgraded to allow it to store negative Covid-19 test results on travellers’ mobile phones. The app is being trialled on flights to Corsica and overseas départements from this week.
According to a French official, at first, the certificates will only be used for travel, but they “could eventually be adopted for public events such as concerts, festivals and trade fairs,” although not for bars and restaurants.
The app has so far been downloaded by nearly 15 million French citizens.
The French trial will form one part of a “reinforced, consolidated and standardised” Europe-wide system, the minister for digital transition, Cédric O, said. Talks are already underway with several countries and airlines to ensure early recognition.
The European commissioner for justice, Didier Reynders, said last week he expected the EU’s “digital green certificate” to be operational by 21st June. The certificate is an urgent priority for southern European member states whose economies have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
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