Norway to introduce 'vaccine certificates' from early June

Norway to introduce 'vaccine certificates' from early June
Credit: Maïthé Chini/The Brussels Times

Norway will start using "coronavirus certificates," or vaccination passports, from June, to ease some of the country's restrictions, announced Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

The certificate will "securely document" if the holder has been vaccinated, tested negative, or has been infected before, indicating immunity to the virus, according to Solberg.

"We can use it to open up society more and earlier,” she said, adding that the government also plans to use the certificates to organise events for large groups of people again, report local media.

As of 5 May, 31.7% of Norwegian residents have received a first shot of a coronavirus vaccine, with 8.4% being fully vaccinated, according to the ECDC's vaccine tracker.

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“In regards to travel, we must see how it works within the context of the EU’s own plans for vaccine passports and travel," Solberg said.

The EU vaccination certificates are expected to become operational on 1 June for the Member States that have the technical framework in order, and by the end of June for the others.

On Tuesday, a European Commission spokesperson confirmed that Belgium "will be one of the Member States participating in the first pilot phase" of the certificates, starting from Friday 7 May.

So far, Denmark is one of the only countries that already works with a similar system, allowing holders of a "corona pass" to use various services, such as hairdressers and tattoo studios, but the list is not yet complete.

In Belgium, several politicians, such as Brussels Minister-President Rudi Vervoort and Flemish Welfare Minister Wouter Beke, have already spoken out in favour of such a "corona pass" system in the country, but experts warn that it would violate the anti-discrimination laws.

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