Coronavirus: Commission proposes to extend the EU Digital COVID Certificate by one year
The European Commission is proposing to extend the EU Digital COVID Certificate by a year, until 30 June 2023. The COVID-19 virus continues to be prevalent in Europe and at this stage it is not possible to determine the impact of a possible increase in infections in the second half of 2022 or of the emergence of new variants. Extending the Regulation will ensure that travellers can continue using their EU Digital COVID Certificate when travelling in the EU where Member States maintain certain public health measures. The Commission is adopting the proposal to make sure the European Parliament and the Council can conclude the legislative procedure in time before the current Regulation expires.
In addition to the extension of the EU Digital COVID Certificate Regulation until June 2023, the Commission also proposes some limited amendments:
- To include high-quality laboratory-based antigen tests among the types of tests for which a test certificate can be issued. This aims to widen the scope of the types of diagnostic tests at a time where COVID-19 tests are in high demand.
- To ensure that vaccination certificates contain the correct overall number of doses administered in any Member State and not just in the Member State issuing the certificate. This is to address practical concerns raised by citizens about certificates indicating an incorrect number of doses when they receive vaccine doses in different Member States.
- To provide that certificates may be issued to persons participating in clinical trials for vaccines against COVID-19. The EU Digital COVID Certificate issued to trial participants may then be accepted by other Member States. This measure aims to encourage the continued development and study of vaccines against COVID-19.
The domestic use of EU Digital COVID Certificates remains a matter for Member States to decide. The EU legislation on the EU Digital COVID Certificate neither prescribes nor prohibits the domestic use of EU Digital COVID Certificate (such as for access to events or restaurants). At the same time, where a Member State establishes a system of COVID-19 certificate for domestic purposes, it should continue to ensure that the EU Digital COVID Certificate is also fully accepted for those purposes. Beyond that, the Commission also encourages Member States to align their domestic validity periods with the validity period set at EU level for the purpose of travel.
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