Agreed: The EU digital COVID certificate will arrive end of June
The European Union has reached an agreement on the details of a Europe-wide certification for coronavirus vaccines, tests and recoveries, thus easing the conditions for travel within the bloc. The so-called “vaccine passport” is due to arrive by the end of June, in time for the summer holidays.
EU reaches agreement on Digital COVID Certificate
After a final round of negotiations on Thursday, the Portugese EU Council Presidency in Brussels announced that the member states, the European Parliament and the European Commission had managed to reach an agreement on the EU Digital COVID Certificate.
From the end of June, the new certificate will provide forgery-proof evidence of a vaccine against COVID-19, a recent test, or a recovery from the virus, in the form of a QR code that can be displayed on a mobile phone. The aim is to make it easier to travel within Europe.
Even those who have only had one dose of vaccine will be able to use the digital certificate, but it will be up to individual member states to decide whether these individuals will need to quarantine or test upon arrival.
Member states can make own rules on testing and quarantining
Indeed, the digital certificate does not guarantee uniform rules across the bloc. According to the terms of the agreement, individual member states will still be able to require travellers to quarantine upon arrival, as long as they can demonstrate to the European Commission that this measure is necessary to combat the spread of the virus.
Each individual country will also be free to decide whether travellers vaccinated with a jab not (yet) approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) - such as the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, or China’s Sinopharm, which are both being used in European countries like Hungary and Serbia - will be able to enter without a test.
Holidaymakers are therefore advised to check the restrictions outlined by each member state before making plans to travel.
A 100-million-euro fund has also been established to make PCR tests more accessible and affordable for low-income families to travel this summer.
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