GENICA’s tests results for SARS-CoV-2 are already with an EU digital COVID certificate, also known as a digital green certificate. The lab’s system is integrated with the National Health Information System (his.bg) and the certificate generates automatically on the result of the patient's test.
The certificate has an unique certificate identifier and QR code, it contains the name and date of birth of the patient, the type of test performed, the date and time of sample collection, the country and the laboratory in which the test was performed. It is also stated that the validity of the document can be checked at his.bg/certificate.
In the beginning of July the European Commission has given a phasing-in period of six weeks to EU Member States to introduce the COVID digital certificate (formerly digital green certificate), when other formats can still be used and should be accepted in other Member States. In that period a vaccination certificate, a test certificate, and a certificate of recovery still will be accepted for travelling.
A press release from EU stated:„Countries can start issuing and using already (COVID digital certificate) and it will become available in all EU Member States as of 1 July. If a Member State is not ready to issue certificates on time, the Regulation provides for a phasing-in period of six weeks, when other formats can still be used and should be accepted in other Member States“.
The National Health Information System issues the certificates in Bulgaria. The certificate can be used across all EU Member States as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Contacts are also ongoing to enable its use with Switzerland. The European Commission is working to make sure that the certificates can be compatible with systems in other countries outside the EU.
The EU Digital COVID Certificate (formerly called Digital Green Certificate) will facilitate safe free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic within the EU. It will serve as proof that a person was vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result or recovered from COVID-19.
The EU Certificate can be issued and used in all EU Member States to facilitate free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic. All EU citizens and their family members, as well as non-EU nationals legally staying or residing in the Member States and who have the right to travel to other Member States, would be eligible to receive such certificates free of charge.
The EU Digital COVID Certificate will only contain necessary information such as name, date of birth, the certificate issuer and a unique identifier of the certificate. In addition:
For a vaccination certificate: vaccine type and manufacturer, number of doses received, date of vaccination;
For a test certificate: type of test, date and time of test, place and result;
For a recovery certificate: date of positive test result, validity period.
The EU Digital COVID Certificate will be available in digital format, for instance in a smartphone app, or on paper, as each person prefers. The certificates will contain a QR code with the necessary data as well as a digital signature. The QR code is used to securely verify the authenticity, integrity and validity of the certificate. The information on the certificate will be written in the language(s) of the issuing Member State and in English. A common design template was developed with Member States to facilitate the recognition of EU COVID Certificates issued in paper format.
The EU Digital COVID Certificate contains a QR code with a digital signature to protect it against falsification. When the certificate is checked, the QR code is scanned and the signature verified.
On 1 June, the Commission activated a gateway through which all certificate signatures can be verified across the EU. The personal data of the certificate holder does not pass through the gateway, as this is not necessary to verify the digital signature.
To ensure the reliability of the test result, only the so-called NAAT tests (including RT-PCR tests) and the rapid antigen tests featured in the common list established on the basis of Council Recommendation 2021/C 24/01 should be eligible for a test certificate issued on the basis of the EU Digital COVID Certificate Regulation. However, it is left to each Member State to decide whether it accepts rapid antigen tests, or only NAAT tests (such as RT-PCR tests).
GENICA Laboratory is actively working with the National Health Information System so that the results of the COVID-19 tests can be issued with a national reference number (NRN).
Detailed information on the COVID digital certificate, as well as answers to frequently asked questions can be found here: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/qanda_21_2781