How can you “certify” a digital certificate of testing on COVID-19 for travel


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

“At this point, not everyone needs to get a health certificate,” said Barry Lim, general delivery manager, Agile Consulting and Engineering, Government Digital Services, GovTech.

“This is fundamentally applicable to those who need to travel and complete a vaccination regimen or take a PDT, for example a polymerase chain reaction, a rapid antigen or a serological test.”

Those who need to travel can confirm their PDT or issue a vaccination certificate, before traveling, through a few simple steps Notarize portal, an official platform for individuals to request a certificate of digital PDT results supported by the Ministry of Health.

The platform also allows individuals who are fully vaccinated in Singapore to obtain a digital vaccination certificate issued by the MOH for travel using a Singpass application.

What is inside HealthCert?

HealthCerts is an open source framework for issuing digital certificates of COVID-19 test results that comply with international standards and Singapore government requirements.

HealthCert contains a snapshot of someone’s health record. This may be the result of a test or a vaccination record.

– Barry Lim, General Delivery Manager, Agile Consulting and Engineering, Government Digital Services, GovTech

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

PDT HealthCert sample

Vaccination records, as the name suggests, document the dates as well as the type of vaccination that was administered.

HealthCert vaccination sample

How does it work?

Image credit: GovTech

The use of HealthCerts for digital PDT certificates provides an interoperable, verifiable and unauthorized solution solution that will facilitate and speed up application processing and customs clearance at foreign and local immigration points.

Passengers will need to certify a digital test certificate for Covid-19 — meaning they have a document certified by the Department of Health — to be recognized at local and overseas airports.

The certificate must be loaded on Notarize, after which the passenger will be sent a certified digital PDT certificate containing a QR code.

Barry described the process as “easy and quick”. “The digital certificate will be sent to the incoming email of the passenger within 15 minutes, usually in less than five minutes,” he added.

Users can also view their health certificates at Singpass application.

After successfully obtaining a health certificate, the passenger can present it to the competent authority whenever necessary, either as a soft copy from his mobile device or a printout on paper, with a clearly displayed QR image.

– Barry Lim, General Delivery Manager, Agile Consulting and Engineering, Government Digital Services, GovTech

verify govtech
Screenshot from the Verify function

Airlines and airlines can scan a QR code to verify the authenticity of a PDT certificate using a tool called Verify, which was also developed by GovTech.

The platform will be able to check whether the digital certificate has been changed and whether the certificate has been certified by the Ministry of Health.

Both digital PDT and vaccination certificates use the HealthCerts standard, which is safe and protected from unauthorized alterations. The digital vaccination certificate is intended to be used for travel, but its acceptance is subject to the prevailing entry requirements of the destination country.

Passengers are invited to check Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) website for the latest travel advice to other countries / regions, as well as the immigration authority or embassy of the destination country / region on the relevant health requirements for travelers from Singapore.

– Barry Lim, General Delivery Manager, Agile Consulting and Engineering, Government Digital Services, GovTech

Your data will remain secure and protected

According to the Office for Smart Nation and Digital Government (SNDGO), an individual’s data remains private with a digital test certificate.

To verify the authenticity and validity of a digital PDT certificate, only a scatter or digital fingerprint of the digital PDT certificate is required.

Only the recipient of the QR code, otherwise known as the applicant, has access to the data and ways to decipher their content. Anyone who has been given a copy of the QR can also check and review the contents of the HealthCert.

All electronic storage and transmission of identity data is ensured by appropriate security technologies. Reasonable steps will be taken to securely delete or permanently de-identify user data when it is no longer needed.

– Barry Lim, General Delivery Manager, Agile Consulting and Engineering, Government Digital Services, GovTech

U blog post, further asserted that the health data of an individual is shared only with the verification party for the purpose of verification.

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

Private sector partnerships

“GovTech has opened up the HealthCerts standard and technology for application in other countries, and we have ongoing engagement with several countries,” Barry said.

“It is built on the same framework used to issue digital academic certificates in Singapore, known as OpenCerts, that provides cryptographically trusted documents that are protected from unauthorized access, making them a secure solution for issuing, authenticating and verifying certificates without the need for proprietary software. or equipment. “

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

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

– Barry Lim, General Delivery Manager, Agile Consulting and Engineering, Government Digital Services, GovTech

GovTech basically supports companies that are interested in keeping HealthCerts in their mobile applications. HealthCerts recipients can then choose the app that best suits their travel needs.

There are currently 12 companies authorized to work with HealthCerts certification clinics. They are:

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

Covid-19 cross-border check

Following a fairly recent expansion to digital vaccination certificates, GovTech is investigating other uses that support the need for digital authentication and authentication in tandem with the landscape, and could even extend beyond existing medical-related uses.

Agreements between governments must be made before mutual recognition of digital health documents. Contracts are an indicator of the ability to read, trust and recognize the content of a digital health document.

The Singapore government is closely following international developments on the use of digital vaccination certificates for travel and is in talks with the International Civil Aviation Organization and various countries on the mutual recognition of such certificates.

– Barry Lim, General Delivery Manager, Agile Consulting and Engineering, Government Digital Services, GovTech

To help more countries travel safely, GovTech has designed HealthCerts to allow issuance to any healthcare facility; allow any digital passport to store, view and share HealthCerts; and be verifiable on any platform.

It has also opened up the code base of all components to increase range and global interoperability.

To date, over 241,000 PDTs and 180,000 digital vaccination certificates have been approved and issued.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images

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