Today marks Day 1 of the EU Digital COVID Certificate program. Though we have American passports, as residents of the Netherlands - with a long-term residence visa - we're eligible to receive a QR-code and use this system. Thus today, I "signed in" to receive my EU Digital COVID Certificate QR-Code. (I am sure there are many Dutch locals on the board who can explain the process better, but here goes).
In the Dutch system, you have to work through two APPs to acquire your certificate - your DigiD App and the CoronaCheck App. DigiD is an identity management platform that government agencies of the Netherlands, including the Tax and Customs Administration, can use to verify the identity of Dutch residents on the internet. DigiD only allows you to log in with organizations that are legally authorized to use citizen service numbers (which would be similar to the USA social security number). You can "verify" your identity in the DigiD system with such items as a Dutch passport, a resident visa, or a Dutch driver's license (I have the last two). So the first step - and most people already had this - was to have access to the DigiD.
Next, in the Dutch system, you use the CoronaCheck App to generate your QR Code. Working in conjunction with DigiD, this app creates the QR code you will need. Well, actually, it creates TWO QR-codes. The first QR code is for use in the Netherlands only. This NETHERLANDS QR-code has more limited information, as required currently inside the NL. On your phone screen, you can toggle between NETHERLANDS and INTERNATIONAL. When you select INTERNATIONAL, a different QR-code is generated which has all your vaccination information required by the EU.
On your phone screen, the header on the NETHERLANDS QR-code page reads: To get access, have your QR code scanned at the entrance of an entertainment venue.
In the center of the page, you simply press - SEE QR (Press this and up pops your Netherlands QR Code). At the bottom of the screen, you see the text in black: I'm in the Netherlands....
To access the iNTERNATIONAL QR-Code, the very bottom line, in blue block-letters, reads, CHANGE TO INTERNATIONAL.
When you click on INTERNATIONAL, you get this warning: Always use your Dutch QR Code within the Netherlands. Traveling outside the Netherlands? Then use your International QR Code. , The Dutch QR code only contains your initials, your birth month, and your date of birth.
When you do select your INTERNATIONAL QR code, the date of your last vaccination is displayed. There's also a link that tells you if the QR code will be valid in the country you are visiting. (Note: When you are building the QR Code in the CoronaCheck App, all your vaccination dates - which are already in the Dutch system - are visible and you verify these as part of the QR code building process).
So that's the Dutch system... and effective today we do have the QR Code necessary to travel in the EU. I would imagine that because this is tied to your DigiD, the Dutch government can ADD information to the Dutch QR Code if they feel that is necessary. A key to getting the code is having DigiD access. Again, that does require some form of Dutch paperwork - such as a Dutch passport, visa, driver's license, etc. No Dutch paperwork - no access to the system.
Could the US government - or specific states - come up with a similar App which like the Dutch generates a local and international QR code? And would it be accepted and assimilated by the EU? Those are far different questions. For us, we were not sure the Dutch government would meet the July 1 deadline. But fortunately, they have. As we have trips planned to Seville, Rome, Paris, London, and Brittany in the next three months, we're glad to have this system in place. We'll see how it works!