BEIJING AFP March9, 2021- China has launched a health certificate programme for Chinese international travellers, leading the world in plans for so-called virus passports.
The digital certificate, which shows a user’s vaccination status and virus test results, is available for Chinese citizens via a programme on Chinese social media platform WeChat that was launched on Monday.
The certificate is being rolled out “to help promote world economic recovery and facilitate cross-border travel”, a foreign ministry spokesman said. However, although the certificate is meant for travel in and out of China, it is currently only available for use by Chinese citizens and it is not yet mandatory.
There is also no indication authorities in other countries will use it when Chinese travellers go abroad.
Nevertheless, the certificate, which is also available in paper form, is thought to be the world’s first known “virus passport”.
The United States and Britain are among countries currently considering implementing similar permits.