Wednesday 5/12/21

Finland to launch its own travel vaccination document ahead of EU digital certificate

The Finnish national vaccination certificate may facilitate travel already in May.
A view of the interior of Helsinki airport. Photo: Pixabay/file photo.
A view of the interior of Helsinki airport prior to the pandemic. Photo: Pixabay/file photo.

The government of Finland wants to launch its national Covid-19 vaccination certificate to facilitate travel abroad as soon as possible. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has drawn up a schedule for the document to be in use even before the European Union's 'digital green certificate' enters into force.

According to government information, at the end of May Finland will launch a national certificate of vaccination. The document will contain information about the Covid-19 vaccines the holder has received.

This certificate can be used when crossing the border to an EU member state that accepts the document as proof of vaccination. However, at this initial stage, each European country can still decide whether such a certificate entitles the holder to enter its territory.

In July, the EU will launch the digital green certificate that will include a vaccination certificate, a test certificate and a recovery certificate.

This more extensive certificate can be issued and used in all EU member states once the common regulation on interoperable certificates on vaccination, testing and recovery enters into force. The European regulation is due to be adopted in late June, and the Member States must implement it by the beginning of August.

When will the Finnish certificate be available?

According to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Finnish digital Covid-19 vaccination certificate will be launched in May, in advance of the EU's digital green certificate, because a lot of development work has already been done. Data about administered Covid-19 vaccines are already available in the Kanta Services.

The digital green certificate will be launched later, because it can be used only after the EU regulation has entered into force. At the same time, it will be ensured that people can get information about their Covid-19 tests from all healthcare units in a comprehensive and uniform way.

The Finnish vaccination certificate may facilitate travel already in May: it is readily available and other EU member states can accept it as proof of Covid-19 vaccination, if they so wish, even before the EU regulation enters into force.

How to get the vaccination certificate

The Finnish vaccination certificate is easy to get and use as it can be shown on a mobile device or in print. The certificate can be obtained through the My Kanta pages is free of charge.

Holders do not need to contact a healthcare professional to obtain the certificate, it will be automatically created on the My Kanta pages.

As some people do not use or are not able to use the My Kanta Pages, they can request a paper version of their vaccination certificate from the healthcare provider that administered their vaccine. People can already now request a vaccination certificate from their healthcare provider.

The certificates will be easy to scan and interpret in other EU member states, because they have the same content across the EU.

Each country can decide what certificates they require from incoming travellers and how many vaccine doses the travellers need to have received. Under the EU regulation, member states must accept the digital green certificate if they accept other similar certificates.

Strong identification is needed to use the My Kanta Pages. Available identification tokens include online banking codes, mobile certificate and electronic identity card.

The information in the Finnish vaccination certificate will be consistent with the forthcoming international model of vaccination certificates.

Finland to launch its own travel vaccination document ahead of EU digital certificate