China has launched a vaccination certificate, leaving expats and citizens alike hopeful that they will soon be able to travel freely across borders.
The digital certificate is embedded in a QR code that gives information on a carrier’s vaccine status and Covid-19 test results, according to information from China’s Foreign Ministry.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a press conference yesterday, “China has introduced its electronic health certificate for international travelers to other countries and relevant international organizations.
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 healthy, safe and orderly flow of personnel.”
Zhao stopped well short of announcing any relaxation of border restrictions for international arrivals to China who have already been vaccinated.
The Global Times confirmed on Tuesday, however, that the state was looking into whether quarantine measures could be wavered for such groups.
According to Our World Data, China had only vaccinated 52.5 million people by the end of February. With such low levels of the virus in the country and no clear benefits yet to being vaccinated, citizens have been reluctant to get inoculated.
China has also hinted that it will accept similar vaccine certificates from other countries, although it is unclear which are currently being considered.
As vaccinations continue to be administered around the world, several countries, including those of the European Union, have agreed to develop vaccine passports.
The International Air Travel Association also announced this week that it is to launch an app that will allow immigration authorities to share travelers’ vaccination data.
The app is set to be tested on a Singapore Airlines flight from Singapore to London next week before being rolled out to 30 more airlines.