ID-cards could be used as vaccination certificates

Estonian ID Card and card reader.
Estonian ID Card and card reader. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The Health and Welfare Information System (TEHIK) has stated that it is technically possible to have the coronavirus vaccination certificates on ID-cards instead of having to print out or display the QR-code from a phone. TEHIK and the social affairs ministry are now looking into the legal side of the technical solution.

"The State Information System (RIA) has exchanged ideas with its partners and we consider using ID-cards as proof of COVID-19 vaccination a reasonable and technically possible solution," said RIA spokesperson Helen Uldrich told ERR.

There are two options for this solution. There are QR-codes on the backsides of every ID-card issued since 2018, which provides information on the document's validity. One option is to add the vaccination certificates to the existing QR-code.

"So if the phone reads the QR-code, vaccination data will also be displayed aside the document's validity," Uldrich said.

Another option is read the information from the card's chip or barcode. This option would require inspectors i.e. event organizers or cafe managers to have a chip or barcode reader, however. Both options are widely used for customer cards and payment terminals, for example.

"Both options would make peoples' lives easier - everyone has an ID-card and there would be no need for extra papers or applications. And we assess that more than 50 percent of the population already use the new ID-cards issued in 2018, which allow for the first option (of QR-codes on the back - ed)," Uldrich explained.

RIA is not competent in assessing the legal effects and restrictions of implementing the measures, however. TEHIK spokesperson Karilin Engelbrecht said the proposal has been discussed and the authority is considering the legal side of the measure with the Ministry of Social Affairs. No confirmation can yet be given, Engelbrecht said.

The government approved on order on July 30 reinstating the obligation to wear a mask on public transport from 2 August and reduce the maximum number of participants allowed at events and activities without infection control from 9 August. In the future, activities with a larger number of visitors can only be organised if the infection safety and monitoring thereof is ensured.

From August 9, indoor events and activities with more than 50 participants and outdoor events and activities with more than 100 participants can only be organized if the infection safety and monitoring thereof is ensured, the government announced on July 30. This means that only those who have been vaccinated, recovered from COVID-19, or presented a negative test result can take part in the events and activities. In such cases, there may be up to 6,000 attendees indoors and up to 12,000 outdoors.

Before the start of an event or activity, all participants who have been vaccinated, have recovered from the disease, or have been tested must provide the respective certificate to the organiser. The organiser must check the COVID-19 certificates of all attendants and verify their authenticity and validity, and in case of doubt, identify the person providing the certificate. All spectators as well as staff, caterers, and performers must be checked. Persons who do not prove their infection safety cannot participate in the event or activity.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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