Sa, 4.02.2023

Even vaccine deniers can get Covid-19 certificate

Henry-Laur Allik
Even vaccine deniers can get Covid-19 certificate
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Minister of Entrepreneurship and IT Andres Sutt (Reform Party).
Minister of Entrepreneurship and IT Andres Sutt (Reform Party). Photo: Remo Tõnismäe

Minister of Entrepreneurship and IT Andres Sutt (Reform Party) says that the Estonia-developed Covid-19 certificate or vaccination passport in popular slang opens the same opportunities not only for vaccinated people but also those having recovered from the disease or showing negative test results, so as not to discriminate against those unable to be vaccinated.

They hope to put these certificates to use in June after the certificates of recovery from Covid and negative test results will be completed.

What is the present status of Estonia’s Covid-19 certificate?

We have an agreement that domestic use will be discussed in the government cabinet on May 27 and cross-border use on June 3. Of course, we shall consider it together with the complete package of restrictions relief and the ways of putting it to use. We have already met and talked with representatives of various sectors to receive their feedback about the practical implementation of the certificate. This will largely help us to prepare for the autumn but also for major events during the summer.

The Estonian solution is not yet quite ready?

Some developments still have to be completed and the electronic certificate of negative test result and recovery should be ready by the end of May.

And how would it work in practice – a vaccinated person would download the certificate from the digital medical report and can keep going?

To put it in a very simple way, this is the way it is meant to operate. I believe that the private sector is clever and ready to find solutions for using them, for checking the certificate. We just have to agree upon the framework for using it. The most important part is that nobody will lose anything but everybody will have more opportunities.

Will the government avoid discrimination by allowing Covid-19 certificate to people with negative test result or those who have recovered from the disease?

Yes, and I believe that it goes for rapid tests as well. People may have different reasons why they cannot be vaccinated. Everybody should have an equal opportunity for an alternative and I believe that the rapid test is a good alternative. The regular tests as well, of course.

Will it matter what kind of vaccine the person has received?

No. All vaccines approved by the European Medicine Agency and which we are officially using are all right. It does not matter if someone is vaccinated with AstraZeneca or Pfizer of Janssen, they all are equally good.

Just like recovery from Covid-19 or negative test result?

Absolutely. All three categories will be equal.

Where could one go with the certificate?

Generally we can speak of major public events, other cultural events with a number of participants and I believe that it could be of use in catering.

Would it be the organizer of the event or the entrepreneur who will decide about the use of the certificate or will its use be compulsory?

It is definitely aimed to the private sector initiative or it is more like an opportunity.

I understand that there would not be a common certificate at the European Union level?

There will be a sort of centralized solution enabling the recognition of different member countries’ certificates, but details are still being worked out. In any case we want people to do as little extra effort as possible and that the certificate would be comfortable to use.

When will the Estonian Covid-19 certificate available for use?

It will not happen before June, we still need some time. But June is the definite deadline.