CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan working to finalize digital COVID-19 certificate; details to be released soon

Taiwan is still in the process of preparing its digital COVID-19 certificate and will release more detailed information about the system next week, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang (???) said Wednesday.

Chuang's comments come a day after the European Commission announced that digital COVID-19 certificates issued by Taiwan would be accepted as equivalent to the EU Digital COVID Certificate from Wednesday, even though Taiwan has not yet made the certificates available.

When asked when and how people in Taiwan would be able to apply for the certificate, Chuang did not give a direct answer, saying only that more details will be become available next week.

In response to reporters' questions, Chuang said people who have received the domestic Medigen vaccine will be eligible to obtain the certificate, even though Medigen is not authorized for use in the European Union. That does not mean, however, that such travelers would be granted quarantine or COVID-19 test waivers, based on their vaccination status, he said.

The European Commission's decision to accept Taiwan's digital COVID-19 certificate under the same conditions as the EU Digital COVID Certificate means that the information on Taiwan's certificates will be recognized as valid, but quarantine and testing protocols for travelers are still decided by individual countries, Chuang added.

On Wednesday, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (???) told reporters that Taiwan's digital COVID-19 certificate will be ready by next week.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), all legal residents in Taiwan will be eligible to receive the digital certificate.

The EU Digital COVID Certificate is valid in all European Union member states and in 33 non-EU countries and territories, the European Commission website says.

The EU certificate contains information on the holder's vaccination status, COVID-19 test results, and proof of recovery if the holder was infected. It is available in digital and paper format, and the application is free of charge, according to the website.

Regarding waivers of movement restrictions for travelers, each EU member state is obliged to accept certification of vaccination with brands that have received EU marketing authorization, namely the Pfizer-BioNTech, Novavax, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, according to the website.

EU member states can also decide to waive restrictions for travelers who have received other COVID-19 vaccines, the website says, adding that the rules vary from country to country.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel