Lack of QR codes is restricting islanders’ travel

RECENT experience shows that QR codes issued by many countries form an important part of travel today.

Guernsey dodged issuing QR codes when issuing paper vaccination certificates, suggesting instead that we could apply for a Pass Sanitaire if travelling in France. The French department dealing with this take between two to three weeks to issue one, which is hopeless if you are going for a brief visit.

Some hotels, cafes and restaurants in France accept the paper certificates, but not all, whilst in Switzerland, nearly everywhere indoors requires both a QR code plus ID.

Another example is when a friend suddenly discovered that a QR code was required to get on a cruise in Norway, so their holiday had to be cancelled.

Many States in the USA are now producing QR codes for their residents and require them from visitors. So it seems very clear to me and others that having a QR code is becoming essential for travel in the post-Covid world.

Yet I heard on the radio this morning that QR codes for Guernsey are ‘delayed due to the changes to UK Covid rules’.

Why?

Do the States only have one person in IT updating the Covid website who is also the only person able to create a QR code? I very much doubt that.

There seems to be a complete lack of understanding of the importance of being able to show a digital version of the vaccination certificate in other countries.

I also read in the Press on Tuesday 12 October that the States wants to create a ‘digitally advanced island’. If they cannot produce a relatively simple thing like a QR code (which Jersey produced in a few days), what chance have they of convincing anyone that we are a digital jurisdiction?

With the latest push to provide top-up vaccinations, I do hope the States will not produce yet another paper certificate without a QR code, as this flies in the face of the way the world is moving.

JOHN FEWKES

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