STA, 23 July 2021 - Organisers of public events and gatherings must check visitors' Covid certificates as of Friday under a regulation that the government put in place yesterday. A mobile app has been released, for now only for devices running Google's Android operating system. A version for Apple devices is expected within two weeks.
Visitors to public events have long had to comply with the requirement that they be vaccinated, tested or have recovered from coronavirus, but from now organisers must check compliance.
When a Covid certificate QR code is scanned with the app, the only information that shows up is the holder's name, date of birth and whether they have a valid Covid certificate, according to Anže Kavšek, who works in tech support at the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ).
The checking of compliance is coupled with shorted validity of both rapid tests and the more reliable PCR tests. Until yesterday a week-old test sufficed for admission to public events and religious gatherings, now a rapid test is valid for 48 hours and a PCR test 72 hours, the same time windows that apply when crossing the border.
The NIJZ said this was a decision backed by science since reliability declines strongly after 48 and 72 hours, respectively. The new time windows are in place until 1 August for now.
Health Minister Janez Poklukar told today's press conference that the app would not share any personal data with the organisers. Neither would they be able to see which of the three Covid certificate conditions has been met, he added. The minister highlighted that only the police could ID people, however in the event of potential abuses of the app or wrongdoings, he expects citizens would report this to the authorities.
The Information Commissioner has launched a supervision of the new app, which is reportedly the same as the one checked by the police at border crossings, warning of a potential lack of a legal basis.
Quoting media reports, Information Commissioner Mojca Prelesnik said that transposing apps which had been used by the police to the private sector should not be done without an appropriate legal framework. Moreover, personal data should not be processed for various purposes without an appropriate legal basis, she warned.
Prelesnik also highlighted that any restrictions and related personal data processing should be in line with the Constitution, law and the principle of proportionality. She noted in a press release that her office had not been informed about the details of the app so far and had not been given access to it beforehand to weigh in on it.