EU reaches deal on COVID-19 certificate

NEWS 20.05.2021 21:45
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The European Union has reached an agreement on a COVID-19 certificate that should facilitate travel during the pandemic and help open up the tourism industry during the summer season, the European Parliament announced on Thursday.

The deal was reached by the European Parliament and the Portuguese presidency on Thursday evening after four rounds of talks.

The certificate will be available in either digital or paper format. It will attest that a person has been vaccinated against coronavirus, has a recent negative test result, or has recovered from the infection. In practice, these will be three distinct certificates. A common EU framework will allow member states to issue certificates that will then be accepted in other EU countries.

The EU digital Covid Certificate regulation should be in place for 12 months. The certificate will not be a precondition to exercise the right to free movement and will not be considered a travel document, the EP said on its website.

Chair of the Civil Liberties Committee and rapporteur Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES) said: “Whilst the agreement reached today does not fully meet the EP’s demands, it certainly signifies a major improvement to the current status quo for millions of EU citizens. The EU digital Covid certificate will restore free movement within the EU, as member states start lifting restrictions to free movement across Europe. This agreement is the first step to get the Schengen area back on track.”

Member states must accept vaccination certificates issued in other member states for persons inoculated with a vaccine authorised for use in the EU by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) (currently Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen). It will be up to the member states to decide whether they also accept vaccination certificates from other member states following national emergency authorisation procedures for vaccines listed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for emergency use, the EP said.

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