Although in Hungary people can technically prove their immunity against the coronavirus using a new mobile application, many of them have found that some places still only accept the plastic card.
In Hungary, those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 can prove it without their vaccination card by using only a mobile app. The software of the National eHealth Infrastructure (EESZT) was made available last Thursday on IOS and Andriod.
According to the government, the new app which is currently still in beta, ”will make life much easier” for both those vaccinated and service providers (e.g. cinemas, theaters, concerts, festivals, sports, and other events, or even restaurants) that host large numbers of people.
In places where a visitor is required to show an immunity card, the service provider can now check whether the individual is vaccinated by using a QR code scanner instead of asking for the actual card.
This option could also solve the problem of those who have already received their first vaccination but for some reason have not yet been issued an immunity certificate.
However, since the app’s launch, several people were faced with the problem that the mobile app was simply not accepted in many places that insisted on plastic cards instead.
News site Telex has also received several complaints from their readers reporting similar incidents, so they decided to ask several venue operators what should those who plan to use the app expect.
Zoltán Hanga, spokesman for the Budapest Zoo, said they would accept the mobile certificate. “Our aim is to ensure that everyone who meets the legal requirements (i.e. has immunity) can come in,” he said.
Cinemas can also be visited with the mobile app, confirmed Ágnes Répás, Head of Communications at Budapest Film, which manages Budapest’s arthouse cinemas, Szilvia Simon-Horváth, Head of Marketing at Kultik, the cinema network that mainly operates rural cinemas, and Andrea Buda, Marketing and PR Director at Cinema City.
Zoltán Balogh, Secretary General of the Hungarian Baths Association, said that “it is not their personal decision, but a legal requirement” for them to accept the app. Balogh admitted that although Friday, the first day, was indeed not without its issues, since then everything has been working smoothly.
But there were problems elsewhere. One of IKEA’s security guards at Örs vezér square refused someone entry despite him showing his mobile app. The store said that “the app has been available since Thursday and is currently in test mode. We are doing our best to respond to the new guidelines and regulations as soon as possible, but we need time to improve our processes, which is what caused this unpleasant situation. We strive to provide our staff with the tools they need to check immunity documents, and over the weekend we also allowed guests into our restaurants using the EESZT immunity app.”
Another reader who wrote a complaint had failed to book accommodation with the app. When he asked if they would accept a telephone certificate for check-in, he received the following reply: according to a statement from the Association of Hungarian Hotels and Restaurants, “until there is a change in the law regarding the card, unfortunately, the immunity card will be required.” The policy regarding the immunity app is due to a special decree in effect for hotels that does not list the application as one of the possible methods of proof.
Featured photo illustration via Pixabay