COVID-19: Digital Certificates

July 16, 2021

Events of all kinds are slowly starting to open their doors again. However, they still need to follow a long list of strict rules. From the very beginning of the pandemic, pretix has been supporting event organizers in many ways: Contact tracing, seating with safety distances, cashless payment as well as contact-less ticket scans all require an up-to-date ticketing system like pretix.

In many places, events can now again accommodate larger numbers of attendees. However, they need to verify that all attendees are either vaccinated, recovered from Covid-19, or have a recent negative test. Checking paper documents is very time-consuming. This is problematic since a smooth and quick check-in process is vital to prevent crowds in front of the entrance, which cause additional infection risks.

We are therefore happy that the European Commission introduced EU Digital COVID Certificate to standardize a digital method to check vaccination, recovery, and test certificates. However, using a separate app or even separate phone to control the certificates costs a lot of time and resources as well.

We're therefore proud to present the newest addition of our check-in software pretixSCAN. Our Android-based application can now help with checking these certificates and make your process as quick as possible. Once everything is set up, you can use the app to scan a digital COVID certificate and the app will automatically check if it is valid for the purpose of your event. The app will also show both the name from the ticket as well as the name from the certificate, allowing you to check the two names against each other or against an additional form of ID. The personal data from the certificate will not be stored, only the fact that a certificate has been shown, and, on request, the type of certificate.

Even if attendees do not have a digital certificate, the app can help: The check-in staff will be shown a clear view of what kinds of certificates are accepted and what the current valid date range is. This way, nobody needs to calculate in their head whether 14 days have already passed since the vaccination day.

The following short (German) video shows how easy it is:

To use the new feature, go to Settings > Plugin > Integrations and activate the module "Digital Covid Certificates". Then, go to Settings > COVID Certificate Validation. First, you need to configure the validity time frames, i.e. how old or recent a certificate needs to be to be valid. If you save this form the first time, you will automatically be redirected to the "Questions" module, where it automatically creates a special question that will later be used to trigger the check process. Check which products require a certificate – and you're done!

The new feature is only supported on Android starting with pretixSCAN 1.11. Support for other pretixSCAN platforms is currently not planned.

Our validation algorithm for digital certificates is based on the official German validation apps. Please make sure to regularly update pretixSCAN to make sure you do not miss any changes. Also, if you are based in another country, we don't know how well the German validation rules map to the local regulations in your country. Please test carefully if this is appropriate for you to use.

Raphael Michel

Raphael is the founder and main developer of pretix. He is passionate about user-friendly, elegant software, and when he's not busy building software for conference organizers, he enjoys co-organizing con​fer​en​ces himself.

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