Sweden follows Denmark in move to introduce digital vaccine passports

·2-min read

Sweden has announced that it will follow the lead of Nordic neighbour Denmark in deploying digital vaccination certificates. The move is intended to allow those who have been inoculated to travel and attend sporting or cultural events.

"With a digital vaccine certificate it will be quick and easy to prove a completed vaccination," Sweden's minister for digital development, Anders Ygeman, said in a statement.

The Swedish government said they hoped to have the infrastructure to issue digital certificates in place by June.

Denmark, which announced their programme a day earlier, said they would initially publish a registry online that could be accessed to check someone's vaccination status, which it hopes to have in place in late February, while it develops a long-term technical solution.

While the Danish government said it would hold off a final decision on whether the "corona passports" could be used for more than just travel purposes -- pending more research into whether vaccinated people could still transmit the virus -- the aim is that it will "contribute to a gradual, sound and appropriate reopening of Denmark".

Aiming to restart society, economy

"It is absolutely crucial, for us to be able to restart Danish society, that companies can get back on track," acting finance minister Morten Bodskov said in a statement.

Both countries also said that efforts would be made to make the national certificates compatible with international certificates being discussed at the World Health Organisation and at the EU level.

The WHO has floated the idea of digital certificates for the vaccine in the past -- but in January said that at the moment they oppose them being used as a requirement for travel.

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen in January backed the idea of using certificates to identify people who have had the jab, but added that "whether that gives a priority or access to certain goods, this is a political and legal decision that has to be discussed on the European level."