China has introduced an electronic health certificate for international travelers, in efforts to facilitate travel and reopen the economy.
The health certificate includes information on a traveler’s Covid-19 vaccination status, as well as coronavirus test results.
The scheme was announced by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian during a press conference on Wednesday and is expected to facilitate the issuance of visas as well as make cross-border travel easier.
The Chinese version of the health certificate is available for outbound Chinese travelers in two formats: digital and paper. It includes the certificate-holder’s NAT and IgG anti-body test results and vaccination status on record.
All the information is encrypted in a QR code that can be verified, decrypt-ed and read by a public key provided by the Chinese side.
“To date, many countries and some international organizations have expressed readiness to seek mutual recognition in this regard with China. We hope to launch such mutual-recognition mechanisms with other sides on the basis of accommodating each other’s concerns and through friendly consultation so as to facilitate cross-border travel and foster sound, safe and orderly flow of personnel,” Lijian said.
The health certificate’s launch was announced on Sunday by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Yi said that China would introduce its version of health certificates with respect to personal privacy, aiming to contribute to the mutual recognition of nucleic acid test results and vaccination records.
Similar vaccine certificate schemes are currently being planned in the EU and the United Kingdom.
It is noted that it has not been confirmed which countries will accept the China-based digital health certificate.