In a first, China rolls out 'virus passport'

08:43 PM | 10 Mar, 2021
In a first, China rolls out 'virus passport'

BEIJING – China has launched a health certificate programme, or a virus passport, for its citizens, becoming the first country to taken such measures amid COVID-19 pandemic.

The digital certificate, which carries vaccination status and virus test results of the traveller, is available on Chinese social media platform WeChat that was launched on Monday.

The project has been launched "to help promote world economic recovery and facilitate cross-border travel," a foreign ministry spokesman said.

However the international health certificate is currently only available for use by Chinese citizens and it is yet be declared mandatory.

The digital certification, which is also available in paper form, is being dubbed as the world's first known "virus passport".

The United States and Britain are among countries currently planning to implement such certificate for travellers.

The European Union (EU) also aims at introducing "green pass" in this regard in order to facilitate citizen of member states to travel easily.

Chinese virus passport has encrypted QR code that allows authorities of each country to get information about health status of travellers.

"QR health codes" within WeChat and other Chinese smartphone apps are already required to gain entry to domestic transport and many public spaces in China.