MEPs today completed the legislative process of the European Covid Digital Certificate to facilitate travel in the EU and contribute to economic recovery. The regulations on the new European digital covid certificate were adopted in plenary. The certificate will be issued free of charge by the national authorities, will be available digitally or on paper and will contain a QR code. It will serve as proof that the holder has been vaccinated against COVID-19, has had a recent negative test result, or has recovered from the disease. In practice, this will involve three different certificates. A common EU framework will help prevent fraud and counterfeiting and make certificates interoperable and verifiable across the European Union. The scheme will apply for twelve months from 1 July 2021. The certificate will not be a condition for free movement and will not be considered as a travel document.

Additional travel restrictions only if duly justified

During the negotiations, MEPs ensured that EU countries cannot impose additional travel restrictions, such as quarantine, self-isolation or testing, unless such restrictions are necessary and proportionate to protect public health. In doing so, Member States should take into account scientific data, including epidemiological data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). If possible, they must notify the other Member States and the Commission of the measures 48 hours in advance. The public must be notified 24 hours in advance.

Affordable and accessible tests

EU Member States are encouraged to provide tests that are affordable and widely available. The Commission has pledged, at Parliament's request, to make €100 million available from the Emergency Aid Instrument so that Member States can purchase tests to issue European digital COVID-XNUMX certificates.


All EU countries must accept vaccination certificates issued in other Member States for vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). It is up to Member States to decide whether to also accept certificates for vaccines approved under national procedures or included in the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use List. All personal data must be processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation. The certificates will be checked offline and no personal data will be kept, it said Europees Parlement.

“Parliament has today accelerated the restoration of free movement and a fully functioning Schengen, as we continue to fight this pandemic. The European digital covid certificate will be in effect from 1 July and will enable safe and coordinated travel this summer. We encourage EU countries not to impose further restrictions unless strictly necessary and proportionate. And it is reassuring that some countries are already using the certificate.”

Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES), Chair of the Committee on Civil Liberties and Rapporteur.
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