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Access to vaccination passports - South Africa

The Department of Health has launched its Covid-19 vaccine certificate portal, allowing users to create a QR code showing their Covid-19 vaccination status.

The passport is currently only available to people fully vaccinated against Covid-19, with users required to fill in their contact details, including their ID number and Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) code.

Upon entering these details, users will be sent a one-time pin confirming the authenticity of the information they have provided. The pin can then be entered to access the final, digital Covid-19 vaccine certificate.

The department said that the QR code is not meant for general public use but will instead be used by specific entities that will use a specialised QR scanner.

While the Department of Health has not confirmed what the certificate will be used for, president Cyril Ramaphosa has indicated that a certificate could further open up the events and travel industry in South Africa.

“It can be used to facilitate travel, access to establishments and gatherings and other forms of activity that require proof of vaccination status,” he said in a national address on Thursday evening (30 September).

“Our approach is informed by World Health Organisation guidelines and is in line with international best practice. Streamlining and standardising proof of vaccination will also go a long way towards getting several international travel restrictions both from and into our country eased.”

Health minister Dr Joe Phaahla said that the certificate would likely be used for specific services in the future. Still, the government has no intention to make the certification a requirement for accessing public services.

Instead, Phaahla said that the document would be used to gain entry to entertainment and sporting events and possibly some businesses.


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