COVID 'Proof of Recovery' – How secure QR codes play a pivotal role

Netherlands and EU start accepting COVID recovery proof for travel

Since early 2020 (the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic), the world has seen multiple iterations on what is acceptable proof to ensure the safety of travelers and stop the spread of the Coronavirus disease. It is also paramount to ensure that all the systems are not overburdened. The solution must be straightforward and hassle-free for citizens to continue their daily lives.

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Now, new developments in the Netherlands (and in many other countries) accept “COVID - Proof of Recovery” as a valid document to allow travel and access just like for those testing negative and/or being fully vaccinated

Evidence of recovery shows that you once tested positive for Covid

This post gives a brief about the Netherlands & EU using such a method. The latter part of it focuses on how a secure QR code helps play a pivotal role in ensuring validation and authentication of information within the country and across borders. At the same time, there are many solutions, including blockchain. However , secure QR code offers the most standardized and accepted method for COVID-19 documentation (test reports, Vaccination Certificates and now even Covid recovery certificates etc) towards ensuring a hassle-free system for citizens while allowing governments to manage public health and control the spread of the virus.

What is a COVID recovery certificate?

If you have had coronavirus already, you can get “proof of recovery”. You can then use this proof as a COVID certificate or COVID recovery certificate, to travel within the EU/Schengen and some other countries or to travel back to the Netherlands.

You Can Get Proof of Recovery for Use in The Netherlands If:

  1. You tested positive on a test conducted by the municipal health service (GGD) or another test provider in the Netherlands. (A self-test or a serological test (blood test) is not enough)

  2. You tested positive at least 11 days ago and no longer than 365 days ago.

  3. Antigen test results can be used as a basis for proof of recovery only within the Netherlands. For instance, if you want to go to a restaurant.

And then, there are some additional requirements for using proof of recovery for travel, including international travel.

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We are all used to having negative COVID test reports with QR codes for verification while undertaking travel and for other access. COVID recovery certificates can simply be given based on the positive Covid test reports which fall within a certain time period from the date of travel or access as per rules. Its therefore imperative that no matter whether the report is negative or positive, it should be made verifiable using Secure QR codes and in fact for positive reports the shelf life is even longer (several days) than for the negative reports ( usually upto 72 hours or so) as it can help to get the Covid recovery certificate or act as one. Moreoever even the COVID recovery certificates should carry a secure, verifiable QR code.

How secure QR codes play a pivotal role in issue and validation of such certificates

COVID Recovery Certificates is one of the ways to ensure smooth travel. However, the importance of keeping it tamper proof and enabling easy validation cannot be undermined. Here is why:

a) Faster Validation: When thousands of people are queued up - the technology to confirm and process should be simple and ideally work without bandwidth issues or connectivity bottlenecks. Any validation bottlenecks in high traffic areas can lead to public health concerns in a pandemic - the very thing these COVID Recovery Certificates are meant to help prevent.
b) Offline Validation: COVID Recovery Certificates will usually be confirmed in locations with flaky or no internet connectivity. Immigration/Border control, stadiums, and event venues are all places where connectivity can be poor/non-existent such as in air-gapped computer environments and high-volume areas.
c) Physical-Digital: Many standards are purely digital and require users to install a smartphone App (Mobile Wallets) to present their credentials. We think this is again an oversimplification. Since our public health depends upon verified travel, we need a solution that works for everyone - those without smartphones, those without data roaming when traveling, and those who are just more comfortable carrying a printout.

How should COVID Recovery Certificates work? – 5 things to keep in mind

  • Centralised generation (at the issuer end) but decentralized validation wherever needed

  • Extremely low cost to make this work for public health, both for generation and validation in all countries

  • Highly secure and protect privacy as healthcare data is sensitive information.

  • Physical-Digital: Can be presented on a smartphone or paper

  • Work offline in air-gapped environments without the need for any connectivity.

The Qryptal Secure QR Code – All things that matter

  • Qryptal’s secure digitally-signed QR codes meet all the above requirements.

  • Qryptal complies with EU-DCC standards for test/vaccination/recovery certificates.

  • Qryptal QR code solution uses PKI, enabling decentralized validation.

  • Inbuilt fail-safe mechanism : Unlike traditional QR, only authorized issuers can generate the QR which is digitally signed by their own unique private key. The QR code encapsulates the critical information that needs to be communicated, verified, and our proprietary algorithm helps to generate a small, compact code. This secure QR code is tamper-proof. It can be easily verified by the corresponding public key.

  • The technology uses standard cryptography for quick, efficient, and effective verification using ubiquitous QR codes. Validation is simple and instantaneous with a smartphone app or web based verification and works for both paper and digital format.

Qryptal Secure QR code helps not just in negative Covid test reports but can also be used for Covid recovery certificates.

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