EU COVID-19 Passports: 7 EU Countries Start Issuing EU Digital COVID Certificates

EU COVID-19 Passports: 7 EU Countries Start Issuing EU Digital COVID Certificates

The European Commission has urged its members to start issuing COVID Certificates before 1 July to restore freedom of movement in the bloc and support the plan to reopen for international travel.

The European Union’s technical system responsible for the verification of the security features contained in the QR codes of all EU Digital COVID Certificates went live on 1 June 2021. 

The idea for the EU’s COVID-19 digital certificate is to offer a single system for securely verifying EU citizens’ COVID-19 status as they cross borders within the bloc to help facilitate safer travel.

The digital pass relies upon QR codes and digital signatures to prevent falsification. Paper-based certificates can also be used by those who do not have access to a device.

Ahead of the Deadline

Seven EU Member States have passed the technical test and can start issuing EU Digital COVID Certificates ahead of the deadline for its implementation. These nations have connected to the gateway and started issuing the first EU COVID-19 travel certificates.

The seven member states are:

  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Greece, and
  • Poland 

According to a press release of the EU Commission on the milestone, more countries will join the system in the coming days and weeks.

Today, the EU Digital COVID Certificate has reached another important milestone with the go-live of the technical system at EU level, which allows verifying certificates in a secure and privacy-friendly way.

EU Commission press release

Update 17/06/21:

More EU Countries Issuing EU COVID Certificate.

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Estonia
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Iceland (Schengen Member)

Unvaccinated EU Nationals

The EU Digital COVID Certificate should facilitate safer free movement inside the EU. It will not be a precondition to free movement, which is a fundamental right in the EU.

EU nationals who have not been vaccinated can still travel using the EU Digital COVID Certificate as it will also prove the results of testing, which is often required for entry into the territory.

Implementation of the Agreement

Under the system, fully vaccinated and recovered people holding EU Digital COVID Certificates will be exempt from quarantines and travel curbs. Those with valid test certificates will also be exempt from restrictions.

The regulation is set to be applied on 1 July. Until then, the political agreement of 20 May must be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council.

After the regulation comes into force, there will be a phasing-in period of 6 weeks for the Member States that need additional time in order to start issuing the certificates. At the same time, the Commission will provide technical and financial support to the Member States in this regard.

The Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton asserted that the seven Member States starting to launch certificates so early is a good start.

I encourage others to follow as soon as possible. The timely preparation will allow the full system to be up and running by 1 July – when the proposal enters into the application and the EU will be on time to open up again this summer,

Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton

The Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides, on the other hand, insisted that it is important for the member states to finalise their national systems in the next coming weeks so that the system can be fully functioning in time for the summer season.

EU citizens are looking forward to travelling again, and they want to do so safely. Having an EU certificate is a crucial step on the way.

Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides

The table below shows the status of EU members in launching EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC).

EU CountriesTechnically ready to connect to the EUDCC gatewayEffectively connected, issuing and/or verifying at least one EUDCC (vaccination, recovery, negative test)
FinlandIn test phaseNo
HungaryIn test phaseNo
The NetherlandsYesNo
SlovakiaIn test phaseNo
SloveniaIn test phaseNo

Non-EU CountriesTechnically ready to connect to the EUDCC gateway
Effectively connected, issuing and/or verifying at least one EUDCC (vaccination, recovery, negative test)
LiechtensteinIn test phaseNo
IcelandIn test phaseNo
NorwayIn test phaseNo

What are your thoughts on this issue? Are you prepared to travel this summer? Talk to us in the comment section below.

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