As South Africa’s Covid-19 vaccination roll-out commenced, the Department of Health introduced digital Covid-19 vaccination certificates. Only available to vaccinated people living in the country, the certificates will make it easier for citizens to access venues and travel without having to comply with protocols in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
In the United Kingdom for example, a vaccine certificate will exempt you from having to quarantine for ten days upon arrival. However, some countries do not accept these vaccine certificates from South African travelers.
Dr Nicholas Crisp, Acting Director-General for the Health Department explains that the vaccine certificates were designed for use in South Africa. He says that the unique QR codes found on the digital certificates are currently only readable in South Africa, as is the case in other countries.
He explains that the development and integration of a worldwide system will be very expensive and will take a lot of time. This as the system would require collaboration between different countries
Crisp says he has communicated with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) around Covid-19 travel protocols in different countries. This in the hope of generating a list of countries and what information they require with regards to vaccinated travelers.
He said, “we've been working with DIRCO and we know that they have been working with other countries through the embassies. We see the email trails to many of those countries so we know that reciprocity has been taking place”.