What is a Covid-19 "green certificate" and how long will it be valid?

What is a Covid-19 "green certificate" and how long will it be valid?

The introduction of Covid-19 green certificate for access to public places enters into effect at 00.00 on October 21. The measure is being adopted because of the deteriorating pandemic situation in the country

What is a “green certificate”, how can we obtain it, where can we enter with it, and how long does it last? The answers to these and other questions are given here.

What is a “green certificate”?

The EU Digital COVID Certificate is what we generally call a “green certificate”. It is digital proof that a certain individual is:

- vaccinated against Covid-19
- has recovered from Covid-19
- has received a negative Covid-test result

The certificate is not just some green note. It can be on paper or in digital form. It contains a QR code and information in the language of the corresponding country and in English. It is free of charge and valid in all countries in the EU.

Certificate of Vaccination

Every person who was vaccinated against Covid-19 receives a vaccination certificate. The number of received doses is written in it. Every vaccinated person can download their certificate from the website www.his.bg after filling in their Personal Identity Number and the number of the certificate, issued after June 1st, 2021, or a National Reference Number (NRN).

However, if you get vaccinated today you will be able to use the certificate after 14 days.

Certificate of recovery

If you have recovered from Covid-19 and you were recorded in the National Register for fighting against Covid-19 as a confirmed case with a positive test, you can also obtain a certificate. You have to enter the website www.his.bg and fill in your UCN and telephone number.

Test certificate

Do you have a negative PCR or antigen test? In this case, you can also obtain the “green certificate”. However, it is important to know that the PCR test certificate is valid for the next 72 hours after the sample taking, and the antigen test one – for the next 48 hours. Again, the certificate can be downloaded from www.his.bg.

Can children obtain the “green certificate”?

According to the European Commission's website, the answer is yes. The European Medicines Agency has issued a permission for using BioNTech Pfizer’s Comirnaty vaccine and Moderna´s Spikevax vaccine for children from 12 to 17 years old. They can obtain a certificate of recovery and a cetficate of negiatve test result as well. The document can be received by the parents.

Is it necessary to carry the certificate on paper?

No, it is not. The certificate can be downloaded from www.his.bg and kept on a mobile device.

How long will the certificate of vaccination and the one of recovery be valid?

The virologist Prof. Radka Argirova, the chairperson of the Bulgarian Association for Medical Virology and a member of the caretaker Minister of Health’s Expert Council for Virology, told the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) that a new order for the validity of the certificates is to be published. The vaccination certificate will be termless. The caretaker Health Minister announced that the proposal for prolonging the validity of the certificate of recovery with six more months was declined.

How to check the certificate’s validity?

The EU Digital COVID Certificate contains a QR code with a digital sign against forgery. This code is scanned during a certificate check. At the end of August the official application for scanning and validation of the Digital Green Certificate for Bulgaria was released - COVID CHECK BG was approved by Google and published in the Google Play Store.

Does the type of vaccine I received matter when obtaining the certificate?

The vaccination certificates are issued regardless of the anti-Covid vaccine used. The name of the vaccine should be clearly stated in the document. It is written on the European Commission's website that the member countries will have to accept only the vaccination certificates for vaccines that were approved for trade in the EU.

What personal information does the certificate contain and is it safe?

The document contains basic personal information – name, birth date, date of issue, information about the vaccine/test/recovery, as well as a unique identification code. It is stated on the European Commission's website that during control inspection only the validity and the authenticity of the certificate will be checked.

Where can we go with a "green certificate“?

As of Thursday, October 21, the "green certificate“ becomes obligatory when entering:

- hotels
- restaurants
- night clubs
- cinemas
- theatres
- museums
- fitness centres
- sports halls
- swimming pools
- shopping centres
- stores with an area exceeding 300 square meters

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