France trials digital coronavirus travel certificate

France has become the first European Union member state to begin trials of a digital coronavirus travel certificate.

The Guardian reports the tests are part of a Europe-wide scheme that Brussels hopes will allow people to travel more freely within the bloc by the summer.

The TousAntiCovid app, part of the country’s contact tracing programme, has been upgraded to store negative Covid-19 test results on travellers’ mobile phones and is being trialled on flights to Corsica and overseas départements from this week, said the newspaper.

It reported the trial will be extended from April 29 to include vaccination certificates and the system could eventually be adopted for public events such as concerts, festivals and trade fairs.

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The French trial will form one part of Europe-wide system, with talks under way with several countries and airlines to ensure early recognition.

The Guardian said the EU’s “digital green certificate” looks set to be operational by June 21.

“The scheme has deliberately not been called a ‘vaccine passport’ to avoid discriminating against people not yet offered a shot,” said the report.

The certificate should mean travellers will not need to quarantine, allowing them to store on their phones evidence that they have been vaccinated, have recently tested negative, or have antibodies after recovering from Covid-19.

Denmark and the Netherlands are also trialling schemes to verify the Covid-19 status of residents for domestic purposes.

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