As crypto currency becomes more mainstream, here’s why it is more convenient to pay with crypto currency instead of the old payment methods:
Pay Lower Fees :
Merchants are responsible for paying transaction fees, as well as setup fees for many payment processors. Banks, for instance, charges close to $40 per wire transfer (and sometimes more). Crypto currencies charge much lower fees, if any. Some Bitcoin exchanges offer fees under 1%. Likewise, since PRFD serves customers overseas, crypto currencies can help you avoid international currency payment fees. This is because crypto currencies aren’t tied to a country of origin or national bank. As a result, businesses don’t wait for payments to clear a foreign bank or pay the costs.
Crypto currency payments are mobile
As with many online payment systems, Crypto Currency users can pay for their coins anywhere that they have Internet access. This means that you do not have to travel to a bank to issue a transfer. However, unlike online payments made with U.S. bank accounts or credit cards, personal information is not necessary to complete any transaction.
Because users are able to send and receive Crypto Currencies with only a smartphone or computer, Crypto Currencies is theoretically available to populations of users without access to traditional banking systems, credit cards, and other methods of payment.
Crypto Currency transactions are conducted on a peer-to-peer basis
The Crypto Currency payment system is purely peer to peer, meaning that users are able to send and receive payments to or from anyone on the network around the world. Unless they are sending or receiving Crypto Currency from a regulated exchange or institution, the parties to a transaction do not require approval from an external source or authority.
The Transfer is pretty fast
A Bitcoin transaction often goes through several confirmations on the block chain before it is fully cleared. That’s because there’s a risk that unconfirmed transactions could be reversed, or the crypto currency could be spent twice. A confirmation takes place whenever a new block is created. If you’re transferring a big amount of crypto currency to a company, some will require as many as six confirmations. How long would this transaction for the transfer take to confirm? About an hour.
Remember, each time you send a transaction, you are making a transfer (or transfers) and you need to wait until the transfer is “confirmed” by the miners.
For more articles on the aviation industry and beyond make sure to visit our Blog page.
Air transport is the backbone of many economies across Africa and is critical for the integration of the African continent. One of aviation’s greatest potential markets is Africa.
Africa has a young and rapidly urbanizing population of over 1.3 billion and aviation is the best, and sometimes the only, option for efficiently connecting this huge market. Therefore, stakeholders continue to put in place measures to primarily redefine and restart the travel industry. Subsequently, attainment of gender diversity and the development of skilled aviation professionals remains vital for sustainability. For this reason, theAfrican Airlines Association (AFRAA) in partnership with Collins Aerospace staged a 2-day conference on 19-20 October to facilitate dialogue, share information, experiences and best practices to attain gender diversity and youth development in aviation.
The conference was held in virtual format under the theme: “Women and Youth Development in Aviation for a Sustainable Future”. It provided an ideal forum for air transport industry stakeholders to first take stock of the trends, second deliberate on feasible solutions to bridge the gender gap and third develop young aviation professionals for the sustainability of the air transport sector.
Gender diversity remains a work in progress; a lot needs to be done
The conference presentations revealed that women numbers are still low in STEM-related careers and women are underrepresented in leadership positions in aviation. In the world’s top 100 airlines, just 3% of airline CEOs and COOs and 8% of CFOs are women according to a study done by IATA. It is no surprise then, that gender diversity in aviation is a work in progress, with slow improvements witnessed in the last decade, a lot more needs to be done.
Mr Abdérahmane Berthé – AFRAA Secretary General, in his remarks stated: “The ICAO and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) underscore the importance of gender equity to spur economic growth and promote social development. There is need to make the aviation industry more gender balanced at the national, international and global levels. Investing in women and youth has a multiplier effect on productivity as well as sustainable growth. For this to happen, governments, companies, organizations and all development actors need to enter a meaningful process of concrete actions.”
“Regarding the subject of youth, the development of skilled professionals in the aviation and aerospace industry in Africa is critical as a large contingent of the current aviation professionals will retire and the aviation growth will require more qualified and competent professionals. The Continent needs to train, develop and groom youth to meet the African global needs of the aviation industry of tomorrow,” Mr Berthé added.
Call to action
Therefore, the forum articulated in regard to recommendations for action by the industry:
Actions for gender diversity
i. Empowerment of women in aviation through training.
ii. Job and career fairs for women, youth and those with disabilities.
iii. Subsidies in training to facilitating access to learning and education
iv. Continuous learning and adoption of online training for skilling and re-skilling.
2. Collaboration across the industry
i. Call to all African airlines to sign up for the IATA 25by2025 initiative.
ii. Events and dialogue among stakeholders for collaborative measures on women empowerment in aviation.
3. Leadership and policy actions
i. Gender diversity commitment at Board and leadership level.
ii. Introduction and implementation of gender inclusivity programs.
iii. Deliberate policies on women empowerment at State level and at organization level.
iv. Enhancement of mentorship programs.
Actions for youth development
i. Creation of an African Air Transport Fund to invest in skill development of the next generation aviation professionals in Africa.
ii. Prioritization of aviation at government level and more support by governments to training initiatives.
iii. Enhance access to scholarship opportunities and adhere to transparent processes.
i. Promotion of the Next Generation Aviation Professional (NGAP) program to blossom next generation aviation professionals,
ii. Tap into the Instructor Development Program for AFRAA Member Airlines (IDPA) for cost-effective training,
iii. Enhancement of mentorship by role models.
iv. Partnership drives/initiatives with schools.
v. Global entities to avail opportunities for youth development to African beneficiaries.
i. Communication and engagement of youth at early ages into aviation careers through outreach programs.
ii. Events and networking to share perspectives and deliberate on opportunities and actions.
4. Employment opportunities
i. Call to airlines and aviation organizations to facilitate students to obtain on the job experience.
ii. Call for apprenticeship programs by aviation entities and corporates to young aviation professionals.
The important conference brought together over 300 participants comprising of Travel and Tourism fraternity in Africa and across the globe.
For more articles on the aviation industry and beyond make sure to visit our Blog page.
Connecting minds, creating the future; after making us wait for another year, Expo 2020 Dubai is finally here. Celebrating the best of the human spirit – from an unprecedented cultural programme and pioneering feats of innovation, to inspiring immersive experiences, the Expo offers a vibrant glimpse of our interconnected tomorrow.
Expo 2020’s Inspiring Districts
From faster-than-light connectivity and green initiatives that promise of a better future, three themed districts and an impressive public plaza are the focal point of the global event.
Cutting-Edge Country Pavilions
From UAE, the host country’s kinetic pavilion and Saudi Arabia’s futuristic building, to India’s shape-shifting pavilion, Pakistan’s vibrant structure and New Zealand’s pulsating showcase, Expo 2020 Dubai is host to some of the most exciting country pavilions that bring exploratory architecture together with interactive storytelling and inspiring cultural programming.
Experience Virgin Hyperloop
Walk Around A Mysterious Water Feature
Situated between Al Wasl Plaza and Jubilee Park, the Expo 2020 Water Feature combines the elements of water, earth and fire in a way that both surprises and delights.
Take A Break At The Flying Park
Offering 360-degree views of the Expo 2020 Dubai site, Garden in the Sky might just be your best bet to soak in the energy and vibrancy of the wondrous event.
Discover Equinox, Terra Sustainability Pavilion’s Captivating Installation
Going Green Made Fun
The Dutch Pavilion’s monumental vertical farm, Latvia’s immersive ‘Sounding Forest’, Singapore’s solar powered hanging gardens, Malaysia’s Rainforest Canopy and Switzerland’s virtual hike through a foggy landscape… Expo 2020 Dubai tackles environmental issues in accessible, informative and fun ways that promise to positively impact our appreciation, understanding and advocacy of our planet’s most pressing matters.
Discover A New Generation of Regional Design
Telling stories of the UAE through exclusive design collections developed for Expo 2020 Dubai, the Expo’s MENASA – Emirati Design Platform presents more than 40 local and international designers.
The Feather-Light Expo Portals
Woven entirely from strands of carbon-fibre composite, the portals that took architect Asif Khan three years to develop are the first thing that visitors will see as they set foot in the site that is larger than 600 football fields and features some of the most exciting innovations in architecture, design and art.
The Kaleidoscope Lighting Festival
A stunning outdoor night-time light festival will bring Expo 2020 Dubai’s site to life for the mega-event’s entire six months. Visually striking and emotionally resonating, Kaleidoscope will harness the beauty of photography, light and visual arts, connecting Expo 2020’s impactful initiatives, global entertainment, and international festivals such as Diwali and Christmas, to tell powerful stories of the human experience. Plus, Expo Beats, a unique monthly festival will take visitors on a journey around the globe through music, dance, creativity and Expo’s collaborative music series, Late Nights @ Expo.
Safety has long been a paramount concern for travelers when it comes to deciding which destination to visit. But the world has been turned on its head in recent years due to the global pandemic and the notion of exactly what makes somewhere “safe” has changed significantly.
This may help to explain the shake up at the top of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Safe Cities Index (SCI,) which ranks 60 international destinations on digital security, health security, infrastructure, personal security, as well as environmental security, a new category for this year.
While Asian cities like Tokyo, Singapore and Osaka have continuously occupied the top spots year after year, it’s a European destination that holds the number one position for 2021.
Copenhagen has been named the world’s safest city for the first time, scoring 82.4 points out of 100 in the annual report.
Denmark’s capital jumped from joint eighth place in 2019 to the top of the list, largely thanks to the introduction of an environmental security section, which the city scored particularly well in, along with personal security.
“One key factor that makes Copenhagen such a safe city is its low crime rate, currently at its lowest level in more than a decade,” Lars Weiss, lord mayor of Copenhagen, says in the report.
“Copenhagen is also characterized by great social cohesion and a relatively narrow wealth gap. It is a mixed city where both the cleaning assistant and the CEO meet each other at the local supermarket and have their kids in the same school.
“This is one of the very cornerstones of Danish culture, and it contributes greatly to the high levels of trust and safety that we benefit from.”
Canada’s Toronto just missed out on the top spot, taking second place with 82.2 points, while Singapore was third with 80.7 points.
Although Sydney came fourth, with 80.1 points, the Australian city topped the digital security category, while 2019 winner Tokyo was awarded 80.0 points, putting the Japanese city in fifth place.
“Copenhagen is definitely a worthy overall leader and Toronto a well-deserving runner-up, but as much because of long-term success in making residents secure as from any particular improvements in the last two years,” reads the report.
“Toronto and Copenhagen do noticeably better in the new environmental security pillar than do any of the top three cities from earlier years.”
The Netherlands’ Amsterdam was sixth with 79.3 points, while New Zealand’s Wellington came in at number seven with 79.0 points, and was the overall leader in the environmental security category.
Asia Pacific cities Hong Kong and Melbourne scored joint eighth place after receiving 78.6 points each, while Sweden’s Stockholm rounded off the top 10 with 78.0 points.
New York was the highest US city on the list, sharing the 11th spot with Spain’s Barcelona (both cities received 77.8 points).
Washington DC was close behind in 14 place, while London and San Francisco tied at 15th.
There were few surprises at the other end of the list, with Nigeria’s Lagos, Egypt’s Cairo, Venezuela’s Caracas, Pakistan’s Karachi and Myanmar’s Yangon making up the bottom five.
But while the cities with the lowest overall scores have found themselves near the bottom of all categories in recent years, this isn’t the case here.
In fact, the report notes that “some signs exist of a shift mirroring that seen among the leaders,” with Lagos scoring “slightly above average in environmental security, while 55th place Casablanca comes 41st in digital security.”
Unsurprisingly, Covid-19 is constantly mentioned throughout, particularly in the assessments on health security, which Copenhagen scored much lower in than other categories.
According to Nima Asgari, director of the Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, the subject of urban resilience has previously been focused on disasters and floods rather than health crises, “probably because people never thought the health system would collapse as a consequence of continuous demand from outbreaks.”
The report suggests that this missing link may have to led to some destinations being less prepared, and ultimately less successful in limiting the impact of coronavirus.
“Covid-19 teaches that there is always a blind spot, even when there is a lot of activity,” adds Michele Acuto, a professor of global urban politics at the University of Melbourne.
Meanwhile, Naka Kondo, senior editor at The EIU and editor of the report, notes that digital security has become an even bigger priority now that “more work and commerce have moved online,” and adjustments will need to be made in light of this.
“Those responsible for infrastructure safety have to adjust to dramatic changes in travel patterns and where residents consume utilities; agencies responsible for personal security need to address a large, lockdown-driven shift in crime patterns,” says Kondo.
The report also acknowledges that the pandemic has brought about “a potential turning point across every pillar of urban safety,” providing an opportunity for cities to “reassess longer term dangers in the way of achieving safe, sustainable, liveable cities as well as opportunities for getting there.”
“A renewed, more holistic understanding of urban safety gives hope for cities that are not just more secure, in every sense, but more sustainable and enjoyable places in which to live,” it adds.
Six cities, Amsterdam, Melbourne, Tokyo, Toronto, Singapore and Sydney have all made it in the top 10, every year since the report was launched back in 2015, while Copenhagen has been a regular fixture since 2019.
What, in your opinion, makes a city safe? Let us know.
More than 50 airlines including Delta, BP and Boeing, pledged on Wednesday to replace 10% of global jet fuel supply with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2030.
It is one of the boldest commitments yet to tackle the environmental impact of air travel and will require an exponential increase in the production of SAF, which currently accounts for only 0.1% of jet fuel used in commercial aviation.
Produced mainly from recycled food and agricultural waste, such as used cooking oil, SAF is a type of biofuel that cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 80% compared to conventional jet fuel, and is viewed as critical to reducing aviation’s fast-rising carbon emissions.
Given that electric and hydrogen-powered planes won’t be availablefor at least another decade, even for short-haul flights, SAF “holds one of the most important keys to decarbonizing aviation,” said Matteo Mirolo, aviation policy officer at Transport & Environment, a green campaign group in Europe.
SAF currently costs between two and eight times more than its fossil fuel-based alternative. In 2019, fewer than 200,000 metric tons were produced globally — less than 0.1% of the roughly 300 million metric tons of jet fuel used by commercial airlines, according to a November 2020 report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and McKinsey, which has also signed up to the pledge as a business that relies on air travel.
The report found that if all publicly announced SAF projects are completed, volumes will reach just over 1% of expected global jet fuel demand in 2030 — a fraction of the target unveiled on Wednesday. “This is a fundamental step up in the industry,” said Anna Mascolo, president of Shell Aviation, which this week announced it would produce 2 million metric tons of SAF a year by 2025, or 10 times more than what was produced globally in 2019.
“We need to put more effort into decarbonizing the aviation sector,” Mascolo says, adding that “sustainability will have a price.” Who will pay is unclear. Germany’s Lufthansa says fewer than 1% of its passengers currently make use of an option to offset their CO2 emissions by paying more for their tickets to cover the extra cost of using SAF.
According to Mascolo, cargo operators, whose revenues are more resilient than passenger carriers, will play a key role in SAF investments, as will companies that want to offset emissions from business travel.
“Carriers alone aren’t going to be able to carry the cost burden,” Uppink Calderwood said. “If they were to commit to purchasing the fuel they wouldn’t be able to sustain their business,” she added, saying that the purpose of the coalition is to distribute the risk and cost across the value chain.
A growing number of airlines around the world are already using SAF in their operations, but generally in small amounts blended with standard jet fuel. Over the past decade, SAF has been used on 360,000 commercial flights, the vast majority of which took place in the past five years, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Governments are also adopting policies to promote and even mandate the use of SAF, which experts say will be critical to boosting supply and demand. Norway and Sweden, for example, require that a minimum amount of aviation fuel sold in the countries must be SAF. SAF mandates have also been proposed in the United Kingdom and European
“In 2016 there were two countries that had a SAF policy, now there are 36 countries,” said Chris Goater,head of corporate communications at IATA. “More and more governments are starting to see the benefit of embracing SAF in different ways. Ultimately, that’s got to give momentum to some sort of global agreement,” he added.
The pandemic delivered a sharp cut to aviation’s carbon emissions in 2020, but the reduction promises to be temporary.
Global air traffic is expected to double to 8.2 billion passengers in 2037, according to IATA, which predicts that aviation’s 2019 emissions peak of around 900 million metric tons of CO2 will be exceeded within the next two to three years. At the same time, the window to cut the world’s reliance on fossil fuels and avoid catastrophic changes to the climate is closing rapidly.
While the aviation sector has not yet committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 — a goal that some experts say is necessary to align with the Paris climate goals — SAF will nonetheless be critical to helping the industry reach its existing goal of halving carbon emissions by 2050 relative to a 2005 baseline. That amounts to a threefold reduction on emissions in 2019.
“Aviation has a huge climate problem and if we don’t provide it with SAF, it’s not going to start solving its problem,” said Mirolo at Transport & Environment.
But not all SAF is created equal. There are multiple ways to produce the fuel, not all of which are considered sustainable. For example, reusable plastics and even some edible oils and sugars generate more CO2 than jet fuel over their lifecycle when burned. There are also concerns that fueling planes with edible material may increase demand for land, putting food security at risk while contributing to deforestation and therefore increasing greenhouse gas emissions.
“Sustainable aviation fuel can live up to its name only if the feedstock fulfills sustainability criteria,” according to the report by the WEF and McKinsey, which lists waste and residue oils, such as used cooking oil and animal fats, as among the more sustainable raw materials. Other sustainable raw materials include various agricultural and forestry residues and municipal solid waste, although the processes to turn them into SAF are more complex and the technology not yet available at scale.
By far the cleanest means of producing SAF is through combining green hydrogen with carbon dioxide captured directly from the atmosphere to produce synthetic fuel. This is sometimes called e-kerosene or power-to-liquid
But the technology to develop this is immature and it could take a decade before it is widely available, according to Sami Jauhiainen, vice president of business development at Finland’s Neste, currently the world’s largest SAF producer.
“We are actively looking at investment opportunities on the e-fuel side,” Jauhiainen says. He said that the challenge of decarbonizing aviation is such that a range of technologies and feedstocks need to be explored. “If you look at the urgency we are dealing with in tackling climate change, and the carbon budget we have available to meet a 1.5 degrees Celsius trajectory, we can’t wait to have e-fuels,” he added.
Rewind to the spring of 1975, when scientists in Antarctica detected an appalling drop in Ozone concentration in which reached a critical juncture by 1987, urging governments to act fast in trying to reverse this phenomenon. Studies revealed that there are man-made ozone-depleting substances (ODS) hazardous to the ozone layer and thereby leading to its destruction. The ozone’s presence is absolutely necessary to protect life on this planet. It is detrimental that we all work towards taking steps to create a more eco-friendly environment for its sustenance.
As an initiative towards restoring the ozone layer a multilateral environmental agreement (that regulates the production and consumption of almost 100 man-made ODS) was introduced. Thus, the World Ozone Day celebrated on September 16 marks the anniversary of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
Ahead of the International Day of Preservation of Ozone Layer, here are some tips that you could use to be more eco-friendly:
Go Local, Go green: Encourage the use of natural, organic and eco-friendly products.
Opt for items that are locally available instead of the products imported from abroad. This includes items such as food and even clothes, the closer to home they are, the better it is for the environment. Consumption of the local produce is not only ideal for the external environment but for the economy as well. Purchasing locally produced items saves transportation costs and cuts down on carbon emissions.
Use Energy Efficient Appliances
Invest in environment-friendly technologies as they are energy efficient. Before purchasing equipment research and make sure it does not produce ozone-depleting substitutes. Air-conditioning and refrigeration appliances emitting HCFC-22 are extremely harmful to the ozone. Find ones that emit or use HFC-410A and CFC-12 instead. Another easy effort can be using LED light bulbs instead of conventional bulbs. LED bulbs are more efficient and produce less harmful waste.
Replace your cleaning products with more Eco-Friendly options
Refrain from artificial, chemically-rich cleaning products and opt for the ones that are more natural and eco-friendly. Vinegar is a great option for cleaning purposes as well is natural soap made of olive oil. Try purchasing household and personal aerosol products (paint sprays, insecticides) that use hydrocarbons (propane, butane) as propellants instead of HCFCs or CFCs. This is not only healthier for the earth but for you and your family as well.
Get into composting. Do your part in reducing the extent of waste going to landfills everyday. How you may ask? For starters try not to dump your kitchen-waste instead do some research and learn more about how you can compost them and reuse them as fertilizer for example. That way you prevent the build-up of methane gas.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Avoid using single use plastic. This might seem difficult but restaurants and grocery stores are already working towards reducing their impact on how often these items are used. try purchasing heavy duty bags for groceries that can be used for months if not years. Do not ask for plastic cutlery when ordering food if regular household cutlery is available. Try to invest in reusable straws as plastic straws is extremely harmful to both the ozone layer and marine animals.
If you find the above difficult, start by something as simple as using your own refillable water bottle at work. Stop purchasing single use plastic bottles that are not environmentally friendly, not economically beneficial and above all are more harmful to your health than a reusable glass bottle or cup.
If every one of us takes up the onus of executing the above-mentioned responsibly, only then can we make a significant difference toward creating a sustainable environment. If you already to most of the above, spread awareness to others that are less informed than you. Any small act results in a huge impact.
The pandemic has changed how and where we work from drastically. With more individuals working from the comfort of their homes than any other time in recent memory, remote working is not only possible but encouraged.
It is only usual that after months of working confined between the walls of your apartment, that you may feel the need for a change of scenery. Remote work can be from coastal getaways to buzzing inner-cities, or even scenic mountains. There is an option available to suit every taste and budget.
Let’s break down for you a list of destinations perfect for setting up your laptop and recharging that work-flow.
6. For those who admire culture and history: Berlin, Germany
Berlin needs no introduction; known all over the world for its thriving arts and culture scenes it is an ideal place for those of you interested in visiting galleries on lunch breaks or theaters and museums after working hours.
Choose from a range of coffee shops and co-working spaces to work from; wherever you are in Berlin you are guaranteed to experience something new. (Editor’s tip: Send that last email and head to the ZigZag Jazz Club, one of Berlin’s many music venues; it’s a must visit!)
5. For those who seek a peaceful escape: Rijeka, Croatia
Those of who who require more peace and quiet as they get to work should seek out Rijeka, one of Croatia’s most majestic port cities.
Rijeka is known to be home to sparkling blue waters, with a wide range of cafes and restaurants along the city’s Korzo promenade. You will find that you are not the only digital nomad seeking out a quiet spot to pass away the hours in the gorgeous Croatian sun.
4. For those who crave a city buzz: Sydney, Australia
Into the fast-paced hustle and bustle lifestyle of an inner-city? Then Sydney is the place for you. This city has it all; the high energy of a working city as well as easy access to beaches and green spaces.
Similar to Berlin, Sydney is considered to have one of the best infrastructures for remote working. It provides excellent internet speeds as well as distinguished coworking spaces, presenting a chance for anyone wanting to start afresh.
3. For those who desire a waterfront living: Valencia, Spain
Valencia; Spain’s dreamy coastal city, is perfect for you sun-seeking remote workers. Its sandy beaches are endless and ideal for a stroll during lunch breaks. In between shifts, you can visit cultural wonders such as the Silk Exchange followed by a dine out in Valencia’s Central Market, filled to the brim with the greatest culinary delights the Mediterranean has to offer.
If that is not enough to get you to pack your bags immediately, Valencia also ranks as one of the most affordable cities for remote workers, with cheap accommodation and great access to public transport.
2. For those saving up but still want a new adventure: Tallinn, Estonia
Did you know that Estonia is considered one of the most digitally advanced societies in the world?
It is considered as a popular destination for remote workers since it has a cheap cost of living, as well as great access to accommodation and public transport. Whether for a short-term or long-term stay, Tallinn is guaranteed to provide you with all your working needs.
1. For those who are in-touch with their intellect: Krakow, Poland
Voted as the most ideal destination for remote workers, Krakow is home to one of the oldest academic institutions in the world. One of those institutions is Jagiellonian University, which opened in 1364, and consistently ranks amongst the best universities in the world.
Apart from that, Krakow is home to the Opera Krakowska, the marvelous national opera company which stages 200 performances on average each year. Add on top of that a great array of coworking spaces and cafes designated for remote workers at a relatively affordable rate, you must be thinking: why not base myself out of Krakow?
Are you still working remotely? If so, where from?
Digital green pass; vaccine passport, EUDCC: What is it and who can use it?
We’ve heard a lot in the past six months about ‘covid passports’ which will facilitate travel for fully vaccinated people. While the plans vary from country to country – as does the names of the documents – here’s a guide to the EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC).
What is the ‘covid passport’ and what is its official name?
The EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC) – previously called the Digital Green Certificate – aims to help Europeans travel easily between the 27 member states. It will be available in some non-EU countries, too.
It will consist of information about an individual’s vaccination status, test results or recovery status from COVID-19.
Presented as a QR code, the person travelling can choose to carry either a digital or paper certificate.
Is the EUDCC different from the vaccine passport or green pass?
It’s a weighted question for a few reasons. Firstly because at the moment, different countries are still using different systems.
Secondly, the term ‘vaccine passport’ implies that only vaccinated people can use it. But the EUDCC can also show COVID-19 test results or recovery status. It broadens the range of people able to go abroad and access certain venues.
The concept of the ‘vaccine passport’ was under scrutiny at the start of the year. The WHO, among others, raised concerns that such a document would create ‘two types of citizen’: the vaccinated and the non-vaccinated. This seems especially unfair to those in the many countries where it is still so difficult to access vaccines.
The EUDCC eliminates this bias. At the moment, it seems like ‘EUDCC’ will be the official name for travel documentation in Europe.
Will I be able to get an EUDCC even if I’m not vaccinated?
Yes. The EUDCC allows three different groups freedom of movement: the vaccinated, those who have tested negative for COVID-19 within the previous day, and those who have had and recovered from the virus.
How can I get the EUDCC?
Your national authority will be in charge of issuing EUDCCs to those who qualify. This will arrive in the form of a digital pass that can be stored on a mobile device – but paper versions can also be requested.
Both versions of the certification use a QR code that stores the information and a digital signature which ensures it’s authentic.
You should check your country’s government website for information on how to apply for a EUDCC.
Do I have to pay for a EUDCC?
No, the EUDCC will be free.
Is the EUDCC available now?
Some countries are already using the EUDCC. It launched fully, in the countries that have adopted it, on 1st July.
Can I use my certificate to go to the EEA, UK or Switzerland?
The EU has already said it is open to the EUDCC being implemented in EEA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway), as well as Switzerland.
Both Norway and Switzerland have pledged to create their own vaccine certificates to be compatible with the EU, while Iceland has permitted entry to vaccinated EU tourists for several months already.
Meanwhile, the UK is yet to come to an agreement with the bloc, and is currently rolling out its own vaccine certificates through the National Health Service.
How long is the certificate valid for?
This will depend on how relevant the certificates are at any given time. For example, when your last vaccine was or when you last took a negative COVID test.
It will also depend on scientific updates and national rules across different countries.
Will we have to use this documentation forever?
Hopefully not. While there are no guarantees at this stage, the EU maintains that the certificates will be around so long as coronavirus is still at global pandemic status. Once WHO announces the end of an emergency, the certificate system should also be ended.