Seven countries have begun using the EU’s Digital Covid Certificate which allows their citizens to easily travel across the bloc. The certificate will be made available to non-EU countries, according to a statement published by the Commission.
The European Commission says seven member states – Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia and Poland – have connected to the gateway and started issuing the first certificates. Other countries will follow suit when all functions are deployed nationwide, it added.
The certificate is available in digital or paper form, free of charge. The gateway allows for all certificates’ QR codes to be accessed. The EU’s plan is for a single system to facilitate safe travel by verifying the pass holder’s coronavirus status – whether through vaccination, a recent negative test result, or proof of recovery from the virus.
Since 10 May, 22 countries have already tested the gateway successfully. While the Regulation will be applied from 1 July, all Member States, which have passed the technical tests and are ready to issue and verify certificates, can now start using the system on a voluntary basis.
Certain countries have decided to launch the EU Digital COVID Certificate only when all functions are deployed nationwide. More countries are expected to join in the near future, the statement said.
Alberto Alemanno, Professor of EU law policy at HEC Paris warned that the system would put cooperation between EU countries to the test, as many have looked to enforce their own rules on movement amid the pandemic. “We need to remember that the conditions of access to get this certificate will change from one country to another. It is each country to determine who gets the vaccine, who gets the test… who is going to be declared as immunised,” he told Euronews.
Brussels has also previously indicated that fully-vaccinated people from third countries should be able to visit the Old Continent with no quarantine requirement provided they were administered EU-approved jabs.