Center of Registers to create immunity certificate be in use in Lithuania by summer

  • 2021-03-23
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The Center of Registers will create an immunity certificate in Lithuania and it is expected to be in use by the summer, Diana Vilyte of the Center of Registers told BNS on Tuesday.

In her words, information from the e.sveikata (e-health) system on whether a patient has been vaccinated, has had the infection or has a negative COVID-19 test will be encrypted in the QR code. It will also include a special private encryption key.

A traveler will be able to print out the certificate with the QR code or download it to their phone.

A public encryption key will be send to a common EU system the European Commission has undertaken to create and they key will allow unlocking the information protected in the QR code by the private key. That will allow people in charge of control to check the information about travelers in their QR codes.

"There will be no information about patients in the EU system. Public encryption keys are a certain tool allowing checking whether the information provided by travelers is correct. (…) It's not clear yet where those checks will be done, before departure or upon arrival," the representative for the Center of Registers said.

According to Vilyte, the creation of such a certificate in Lithuania should cost "several tens of thousands euros".

Presenting the initiative, the European Commission said it would not only create a common system but would also provide assistance to member states for the creation of IT solutions for such certificates.

"Since the number of COVID-19-related tasks has increased this year, a tender was called for additional work. (…) The creation of a certificate was among that. Since everything has to do with time, we had non-published negotiations," Vilyte said. "We invited three companies. One refused and the other two took part. One of them is now undergoing checks by the government's national security commission. It needs to provide an answer. If everything is fine, we will sign a contract."

The commission was provided information on the provider last week and has 20 days for its evaluation. Until then, the Center of Registers refrained from disclosing the name of the company.

Initially, the certificate will be adapted to vaccinated people, Vilyte sai,d

The EC presented the "digital green certificate" initiative last Thursday.

Virginijus Sinkevicius, the Lithuanian European commissioner for environment, oceans and fisheries, told BNS such certificates would be meant not only for vaccinated people but also for those you have had the virus or have a negative test.

In his words, the Commision's initial proposal is to allow people who have been vaccinated or have had the coronavirus, to freely travel within the EU for 180 days. But it's not agreed yet when a test should be done to receive a negative test.

"There's no agreement on tests, that will depend on member states; requirements. In most cases now, a test is done no later than 72 hours before traveling. (…) I have no doubt a common time will be agreed, and it will probably be no later than 72 hours before a flight," he said.