Vaccination certificates to be issued at convenience stores

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
A smartphone app that provides proof of COVID-19 vaccination. The government began operating the app in December 2021.

The government plans to make it possible for individuals to be issued COVID-19 vaccination certificates at convenience stores starting in late July in some areas, with an aim of making the service available nationwide from August onward.

Currently, people can use their My Number personal identification cards to obtain copies of official documents such as their residence certificate from terminals installed in convenience stores, and this system will also be used for the issuing of vaccination certificates.

It will be possible to submit applications on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, but the system will only be available from 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

COVID-19 vaccination certificates were introduced last July in accordance with the Immunization Law.

The certificates have been used during states of emergency and at other times when individuals have been required to present such a proof to eat at a restaurant or attend an event.

Outside Japan, 112 countries and regions (as of July 8), including the U.S. and South Korea, have relaxed or waived quarantine measures for entry into the country if a certificate is presented.

Since vaccination certificates are issued by municipalities, applicants have had to visit a municipal office on a weekday or apply for a hard copy by mail. In December last year, the government started a smartphone app that provides proof of vaccination, making it possible to apply for and receive electronic certificates 24 hours a day.

However, since some people do not have smartphones and some people overseas are required to present paper certificates, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has been considering ways to increase convenience, such as by making it possible to receive the certificates at places other than local government offices and outside of holidays and weekends.