A technical system underpinning the European Union’s plan for a pan-EU “digital pass” for verifying COVID-19 vaccination or test status across the region has gone live today, with a handful of EU Member States connected to the gateway and more expected to follow ahead of a July 1 full launch.

The idea for the EU’s COVID-19 digital certificate is to offer a single system for securely verifying EU citizens’ COVID-19 status — whether vaccination, a recent negative test or proof of recovery from the virus — as they cross borders within the bloc to help facilitate safer travel.

The digital pass relies upon QR codes and digital signatures — verified using public key cryptography — to prevent falsification. Paper-based certificates can also be used by those who do not have access to a device.

Member States that have passed technical tests and are ready to do so can start issuing and verifying certificates on a…

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