Covid-19: Bulgaria ready to introduce European digital green certificate – Health Ministry

Bulgaria is fully ready to introduce the European digital green certificate of vaccination against Covid-19, the Health Ministry said on May 27.

The ministry said that this had become possible after state-owned IT company Informatsionno Obsluzhvane conducted successful tests and completed the integration of the Bulgarian system with that of the European Commission, which means that the Bulgarian certificates are compatible with the systems of other EU countries.

According to the regulation, the certificate enters into force on July 1 2021, the Central System is expected to start operating on June 1 2021, which will allow EU countries that are ready technically to issue green certificates as early as June, the Health Ministry said.

The green certificate is expected to make travel in European countries much easier, the ministry said.

The EU rule is that the digital green certificate is free of charge.

The European Commission has defined three versions of the document.

These are certifying a completed vaccination cycle with one of the vaccines approved by the EC for use against Covid-19, a negative test, or having undergone the illness.

The three options contain a special QR code through which the authorised authorities in the EU countries will be able to check its validity.

The vaccination certificate contains information on the name and date of birth of the vaccinated person, the International Classification of Medicinal Products code, the trade name of the product, the manufacturer, the batch, the date of vaccination, the country of administration, the vaccination centre and other mandatory attributes.

The negative virus test document describes the type of test, the date of the test, the results, the manufacturer, the laboratory that performed the test, among other details, while the certificate of illness includes information about the date of the first positive Covid-19 test and the validity of the certificate.

The ministry said that in accordance with the requirements of the EC, the certificate of illness remains valid no more than 180 days after the first positive test.

Initially, only vaccination certificates will be issued, while the documents regarding illness and a negative test are expected to take effect after mid-June.

The European green certificate will be part of the patient’s electronic medical record.

Every Bulgarian citizen has access to their file through the health information portal of the National Health Insurance Fund, through a qualified electronic signature (QES) and can access it anywhere in the world, at any time, the Health Ministry said.

The system developed by Informatsionno Obsluzhvane will automatically regenerate all certificates issued so far in the new European format when the regulation enters into force, the ministry said.

The old certificates will continue to be valid on the territory of Bulgaria, with a grace period until August 12 2021, in order to avoid people crowding for re-issuance.

The ministry said that Informatsionno Obsluzhvane is currently developing a mobile application that will allow health certificate holders to have them on their mobile phone or tablet without having to print them out on paper or gather in front of GPs or vaccination centres to get the document issued.

“This will make it much easier for citizens to travel,” the Health Ministry said.

(Photo via Bulgaria’s Health Ministry)

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