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ASEAN accepts mutually recognized COVID-19 vaccination certificates

ASEAN accepts mutually recognized COVID-19 vaccination certificates

DENPASAR, Indonesia, May 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — ASEAN Member States collectively recognize the COVID-19 vaccination certificate to be applied in Southeast Asia. Health Ministers of ASEAN countries endorsed the decision during the 15th ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting (15th AHMM) in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia on May 11-15, 2022.

Joint Statement on Mutual Recognition of COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates
Joint Statement on Mutual Recognition of COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates

To limit the spread of SARS COV-2, the meeting decided to extend further the digitalization of COVID-19 certificates. These include digital certificates for safe international travel. As a result, the use of vaccination certificates is expected to spur economic activity, triggering the return of business activities, including tourism in the post-COVID-19 era. ASEAN-approved digital vaccine certificate will make it easier for ASEAN travelers to move between countries in the region.

Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin says all ASEAN countries will implement COVID-19 verification tools on a voluntary basis. “ASEAN member states can still apply their own existing mechanisms,” he said during a media briefing shortly after the main event of the 15th AHMM 2022.

Minister Budi emphasized the importance of multi-sectoral involvement in implementing the initiative. AHMM is committed to working together to grow resilience after this pandemic, among others by introducing COVID-19 vaccination certificates recognition. With mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccination certificates, Minister Budi expected that citizens of ASEAN member countries could travel safely within the region. 

The use of COVID-19 vaccination certificates will still comply with ASEAN country laws, immigration regulations, and mandatory health protocols.