Summer travel is underway in Europe as the European Union officially launches its digital COVID-19 certificate. If you’re planning a trip to or within Europe this summer. Here’s what you need to know about using your certificate to get there.
What is the EU digital COVID-19 cert?
The certificate is an EU-wide approach, to facilitate free movement across the bloc during the pandemic. It tracks citizens’ COVID-19 status; indicating if the holder has been vaccinated, has tested negative for the virus, or has recovered from infection. Individual countries will issue their own certificates through a recognized health official.
How does it work?
Your mobile device will store digital certification, citizens can also request a paper version . Both will have a QR code that contains essential information. As well as a digital seal to ensure the certificate is authentic. Once they hold the certificate, every EU citizen or third-country national legally staying or residing in the EU should be exempt from free movement restrictions, including quarantine and additional testing “unless they are necessary and proportionate to safeguard public health.
What countries are issuing it?
The regulation governing the digital COVID certificate comes into effect on July 1 but member states have up to six weeks to implement it. Some countries, including Denmark, Spain and Greece have already trialled it and most EU countries are ready to comply today with the exception of Ireland. Its expected to introduce the certification on July 19th. After suffering delays due to a recent and unrelated cyber attack on its health service. The certificate is also available to non-EU members of the European Schengen zone, including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
What vaccinations are approved?
EU countries will accept vaccination certificates for vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), including the Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. However, member states may decide to accept travellers who have received another vaccine, such as those listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use.