This article discusses some of the challenges posed by the introduction of COVID-19 certificates as a privileged tool for opening up mobility and access in order to restore a semblance of normality to social life. While at present there is no international consensus either on how – or why – such certificates should be used or on how they should be designed and applied, a growing number of countries have already introduced COVID-19 certificates in one form or another. Yet the scientific community as well as the World Health Organisation (WHO) have expressed caution, noting that such certificates might disproportionately discriminate against people on the basis of race, religion and socioeconomic background, as well as on the basis of age due to the sequencing of the vaccine rollout. Indeed, while the new COVID-19 certificates may appear to promise a magical solution enabling us to free up global mobility and reopen economies, they actually risk creating new borders and new forms of inequality through an exclusionary sorting and profiling mechanism that delimits “safe” from “unsafe” bodies, based on differential access to “immuno-privilege” – but also differential forms of “bio-securitisation”. They also provide an illusion of pandemic safety – assuring citizens that through the “fetish” of the certificate “safe travel” can magically be reinstated. Securing territories and populations has always been, in Foucauldian terms, a matter of “making a division between good and bad circulation and maximizing the good circulation by diminishing the bad”. We can therefore reasonably expect growing contestation, including before courts, around COVID-19 certificates in their different national and international iterations, as their inherently discriminatory nature and other unintended consequences such as those stemming from the use of persuasive – as opposed to the more traditional coercive – governmental power begin to unfold in their performative trajectory.