How to “notarize” a Covid-19 digital test certificate for travel – Health Guild News


Together with the Ministry of Health (MOH), GovTech has developed HealthCerts, a global interoperable standard for pre-departure test (PDT) results and vaccination certificates to facilitate safe travel resumption.

“Not everyone needs to get a HealthCert right now,” said Barry Lim, chief delivery officer, Agile Consulting and Engineering, Government Digital Services, GovTech.

“It is primarily applicable to those who need to travel and have completed their vaccination regimen or have taken a PDT, for example, a polymerase chain reaction test, antigen rapid or serology.”

Those who need to travel can get their PDT approved or get the vaccination certificate before traveling by a few simple steps to the Notaries portal, the official platform for people to apply for a MOH-approved digital PDT results certificate.

The platform also allows fully vaccinated people in Singapore to obtain a digital vaccination certificate issued by the MOH to travel through Singpass login.

What’s inside a HealthCert?

HealthCerts is an open source framework for the issuance of digital certificates of COVID-19 test results that meet international standards and requirements of the Government of Singapore.

A HealthCert contains a snapshot of the medical history. It can be a test result or a vaccination record.

– Barry Lim, lead delivery, consulting and agile engineering, government digital services, GovTech

For PDTs, they contain information about the type of COVID-19 test that was performed, the medical facility that performed the test, and the test results.

PDT HealthCert sample

Vaccination records, as the name implies, document the dates and types of vaccinations that had been administered.

HealthCert vaccination sample

How it works?

health certificates
Image credit: GovTech

The use of HealthCerts for digital PDT certificates enables an interoperable, verifiable and tamper-proof solution that will smooth and expedite billing processing and customs clearance at foreign and local immigration checkpoints.

Travelers will be required to notarize the Covid-19 digital test certificate, which means the document is certified by the Ministry of Health, so that it can be recognized at local and foreign airports.

The certificate must be uploaded to Notaries, after which a notarial digital PDT certificate containing a QR code will be sent to the traveler.

Barry described this process as “simple and quick.” “The digital certificate will be sent to the traveler’s email inbox within 15 minutes, usually in less than five minutes,” he added.

Users can also view their HealthCerts at Singpass application.

After successfully obtaining the HealthCert, the traveler can submit it to the appropriate authority whenever required, either in the form of an electronic copy of their mobile device or in printed format, with the QR image clearly visible.

– Barry Lim, lead delivery, consulting and agile engineering, government digital services, GovTech

check the government
Screenshot of Verify

Airline and immigration officials can scan the QR code to verify the authenticity of the PDT certificate using a tool called Check, also developed by GovTech.

The platform will be able to check if the digital certificate has been tampered with and if the certificate has been notified by MOH.

Both PDT and vaccination digital certificates use the HealthCerts standard, which is safe and tamper-proof. The digital vaccination certificate is intended to be used for travel purposes, but its acceptance is subject to the current entry requirements of the destination country.

Travelers are advised to consult Website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (AMF) to obtain the latest travel notices to other countries / regions, as well as to the immigration authority or embassy of the destination country / region on the relevant health requirements imposed on travelers from Singapore.

– Barry Lim, lead delivery, consulting and agile engineering, government digital services, GovTech

Your data will remain secure

According to the Office of Digital Governance and Smart Nation (SNDGO), the person’s data remains private with the digital proof certificate.

All you need is a digital PDT certificate hash or fingerprint to verify the authenticity and validity of the digital PDT certificate.

Only the recipient of the QR code, known as the applicant, has access to the data and the means to decrypt its content. Anyone who has shared a copy of the QR can also verify and view HealthCert content.

All storage and electronic transmission of personally identifiable information is protected by appropriate security technologies. Reasonable steps will be taken to securely purge or permanently misidentify user information when it is no longer needed.

– Barry Lim, lead delivery, consulting and agile engineering, government digital services, GovTech

In a blog post, further assured that a person’s HealthCert data is only shared in the verification part for verification purposes.

“No third party has access to your personal and medical data,” he added.

Private sector associations

“GovTech has opened up the HealthCerts standard and technology to other countries for adoption and we maintain an ongoing commitment to several countries,” Barry said.

“It is based on the same framework used for the issuance of digital academic certificates in Singapore, known as OpenCerts, which enables cryptographically reliable tamper-proof documents, making them a secure solution for issuing, authenticating and verification of certificates without the need for proprietary software or equipment “.

It has also teamed up with private sector partners to develop interoperable solutions.

Any business entity can issue digital certificates that meet the GovTech-defined HealthCerts standard and scheme. The private sector can also integrate HealthCerts into their verification solutions. For example, the Affinidi Unifier application can verify certificates issued according to the HealthCerts standard.

– Barry Lim, lead delivery, consulting and agile engineering, government digital services, GovTech

GovTech essentially supports companies interested in having HealthCerts in their mobile apps. HealthCerts recipients will be able to choose the app that best suits their travel needs.

There are currently 12 companies authorized to work with clinics to issue certificates according to the HealthCerts standard. They are:

  1. 1 Step
  2. 3DCerts
  3. Accredit
  4. AOKpass
  5. Collinson Assistance Service Ltd.
  6. Jebhealth
  7. JEDTrade
  8. Kiyo
  9. Catalyst of knowledge
  10. NextID
  11. Riverr
  12. Trybe.ID

Cross-border verification of Covid-19

Following the fairly recent extension to digital vaccination certificates, GovTech is exploring other use cases that support the need for digital authentication and approval along with the landscape, and could even extend beyond digital vaccination cases. existing use related to medicine.

“The Government of Singapore is closely monitoring international developments on the use of digital vaccination certifications for travel and is in talks with the International Civil Aviation Organization and several countries on the mutual recognition of such certifications.” .

Government-to-government agreements must pass before the mutual recognition of digital health documents. The agreements are an indication of the ability to read, trust and recognize the content of the digital health document.

– Barry Lim, lead delivery, consulting and agile engineering, government digital services, GovTech

To help more countries with safe travel, GovTech has also designed HealthCerts to allow any medical institution to issue it; allow any digital passport to store, view, and share HealthCerts; and be verifiable on any platform.

“We’ve opened up the code base for all components to maximize global reach and interoperability.”

To date, more than 241,000 PDT and 180,000 digital vaccination certifications have been approved and issued.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images

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