Municipalities look at providing printed coronavirus vaccine certificates

Vaccination certificate QR code.
Vaccination certificate QR code. Source: ERR

From next Monday, organizers of large events are required to conduct coronavirus vaccine checks on attendees. Local authorities are looking at ways to provide printed vaccine certificates for those unable to use digital versions, while solutions for foreign residents and those without Estonian identity codes are also being explored.

Karilin Engelbrecht, head of the Health and Welfare Information System (TEHIK) said that: "When it comes to helping people create EU COVID certificates, many local authorities are already active and we are also looking for opportunities to work with various government agencies that have a service network to help people."

At the same time, those who are not tech-savvy or who do not have access to a device for displaying their coronavirus certificate, can with some local authorities obtain a printout, including QR code, instead.

Vaccine certificate requirement takes effect August 9

From Monday, August 9, all large events (meaning more than 50 people indoors, and 100 people outdoors) are required to conduct proof of vaccine checks on all participants, making the issue more pressing even for those who have no immediate travel plans outside Estonia.

Proof of a recent (within 72 or 48 hours depending on the type of test) negative COVID-19 test result, or proof of having recovered from the virus, is also acceptable at larger events.

Foreign nationals resident in Estonia who have an Estonian ID code can also created an EU COVID certificate, either online via the patient portal, or, if for any reason they are unable or unwilling to access it, overseas residents can visit TEHIK's office on Uus-Tatari 25 in Tallinn. The office is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., ERR reports.

This certificate will still be provided electronically, via email, within three working days, it is reported.

Options looked at for those without ID code

Otherwise proof of vaccination can be downloaded from the patient portal.

As for those who do not have an Estonian ID code, Engelbrecht said that they: "Cannot currently receive a certificate, but an opportunity to do so will be created this month."

The printout option noted above also helps with those who have forgotten ID card PIN numbers, or do not use the other two means of logging into Estonia's e-state – mobile ID and SMART ID. Replacement ID card PINs can, however, be obtained from the PPA.

Nonetheless, Merli Bambus, chief specialist at the PPA's ID and status bureau, told ERR that the majority of citizens have a valid ID card, though could not put a precise figure on this.

Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu announce locations issuing certificate printouts

Tartu, Estonia's second city, announced Sunday that it would start printing out digital vaccination certificates for those that apply, at three locations, the town hall (Raekoda), the city library (Linnaraamatukogu) and the vaccination center at the A. Le Coq sports center on Ihaste 7.

This service does require both an ID card and the relevant passwords, however.

Merli Bambus of the PPA told ERR that there had so far been no surge in applications for replacement ID card PIN codes, or replacement cards themselves, so far, noting that income tax return season in spring, and the spring exam period, are times of the year where a rise in applications does happen.

Tallinn city center is, ERR reports, also providing help with tech support on the vaccine certification requirement, at its social center (Sotsiaalkeskus), city district government (Linnaosavalitsus) and social welfare department (Sotsiaalhoolekande osakond). Tallinn city government's page in English is here.

In Pärnu, Estonia's third city, the central library and its branches will be offering the certificate printout service, in addition to the city government itself, ERR reports.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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