The COVID-19 passport

National deployment of the EU Digital COVID Certificate or COVID-19 passport is a project of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, and the Ministry of Justice.

Read more about the COVID-19 passport:

The implementation date of COVID-19 passport legislation is 16 October 2021. A COVID-19 passport could accordingly be required as of Saturday 16 October 2021 at premises and operations where restrictions apply.

An alternative approach to restrictions: customers may be required to show a COVID-19 passport

This refers in practice to the EU Digital COVID Certificate, which is already available from the My Kanta online service, or in printed form from healthcare providers. Deployment of the COVID-19 passport enables people to use the EU Digital COVID Certificate to gain entry to various events. This requires them to have a COVID-19 vaccination certificate, a certificate of a recent negative COVID-19 test result, or a certificate of recovery from COVID-19.

The COVID-19 passport will also be available to people who have had COVID-19 and received one vaccine dose. In these cases, the Certificate will contain the entry 1/1 under “Number in a series of vaccinations/doses”.

The COVID-19 passport is an alternative to restrictions. Operators subject to restrictions would be free to choose whether to require their customers or participants to show a COVID-19 passport, or to comply with restrictions imposed by central government, regional state administrative authorities and municipalities. Both private and public operators could require use of a COVID-19 passport.

The COVID-19 passport would only serve as an alternative health security measure when the event or facilities in question were subject to restrictions. The COVID-19 passport is intended by law for circumstances in which public authorities have imposed restrictions to prevent the spread of the epidemic. Examples of such restrictions include limits on opening hours, or on the number of participants at an event. The COVID-19 passport could not be used if premises are completely closed, or if an event has been entirely prohibited due to serious COVID-19 concerns.

The COVID-19 passport could be required in places such as restaurants and nightclubs, gyms and other indoor facilities for sports or physical activity, swimming centres and spas, dance halls, spaces used for group leisure activities, amusement and theme parks, indoor facilities at zoos, indoor playgrounds and play centres, and museums, exhibition spaces and other similar cultural venues, and at various public events.

No requirement to show the COVID-19 passport may be imposed in places that may be considered essential for leading a normal life or enjoying statutory rights and services. The Certificate would accordingly not be required of customers at such establishments as pharmacies or retail outlets.

Customers or other participants at an event would have to show a COVID-19 passport on admission. An event organiser should refuse entry or participation to any customer or participant who fails to show a COVID-19 passport. While there would accordingly be no obligation to show a COVID-19 passport, failure to do so would prevent access to an event or premises where the passport has been required. Proof of identity may be required when showing a COVID-19 passport.

An operator may only require a COVID-19 passport of customers, participants or the public. The operator may not require a COVID-19 passport of staff members.

Only people aged 16 years or older may be required to show a COVID-19 passport

Persons aged 16 years and over could be required to show a COVID-19 passport, but testing of children aged 16 and 17 years for the purpose of issuing the Digital COVID Certificate should be ensured free of charge through public healthcare if the child has not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Everyone aged 12 years and over is currently eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in Finland.
People under the age of 18 years could prove their identity when showing a COVID-19 passport, for example using a Kela card or reliable assurance of age provided by their parents.

An adult who cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19 for medical reasons would be entitled to the required COVID-19 test free of charge through public health care.

Adults who decide to remain unvaccinated and elect instead to take a COVID-19 test will be required to do so at their own expense.

COVID-19 passport to be scanned using a mobile application

Event organisers will be able to scan the COVID-19 passport using a Digital COVID Certificate scanning app approved by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare installed on a mobile device. This app will be available free of charge from the most common app stores.

The Digital COVID Certificate scanner scans the Certificate QR code and indicates whether this is approved or declined. The scanner would neither collect nor store certificate data. The name and date of birth of the passport holder appears on the screen with a green approval sign if the app approves the certificate. Only a red rejected sign appears on the screen if the certificate is declined. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare will be responsible for the app.

No COVID-19 passport data may be registered, stored or processed for any other purpose.

The validity of a Digital COVID Certificate may be verified without electronic scanning if technical reasons prevent use of the scanner app. Customers and participants must be advised and instructed to fold or otherwise cover a printed Certificate so that only the first page is visible, indicating the title of the Certificate and the name and date of birth of its holder, the QR code and the Certificate identifier, and no other personal information. Operators and their staff or other persons discharging their functions will be subject to a duty of confidentiality under the Data Protection Act.

Promoting the reopening of society with special consideration for health security

Use of the COVID-19 passport seeks to curb the spread of COVID-19 infection at gatherings of people, and to promote a health-secure reopening of society. The goal is for the COVID-19 passport to enable a wider range of events, and for customers and participants to enjoy health secure access to various premises that would otherwise be subject to operating restrictions. A further aim is to safeguard freedom of trade more effectively, especially in business sectors that have suffered most during the COVID-19 epidemic, and to ensure the right of staff in these sectors to work without compromising human life and health.

Inquiries

Mirka-Tuulia Kuoksa, Legal Adviser, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected] (COVID-19 passport legislation)
Paula Tiittala, Senior Medical Officer, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected] (deployment of the COVID-19 passport)
Joni Hiitola, Senior Ministerial Adviser Ministry of Education and Culture, [email protected] (COVID-19: culture and sport)
Liisa Huhtala, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, [email protected] (COVID-19 passport: business)
Mika Pihlajamäki, Information Architect, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, [email protected] (Digital COVID Certificate scanner application)

Questions concerning the My Kanta service: My Kanta customer service: [email protected]