EU Council to Approve Extension of EU Digital COVID Certificate Until June 2023
The EU Council has announced the extension of the European Union's Digital COVID Certificate until mid-2023. The decision to extend EU Digital COVID Certificate by another year was announced on March 11.
According to the Council, the Digital COVID Certificate has played an important role in facilitating the free movement during the coronavirus pandemic.
The principle of gradual removal of travel restrictions as long as the epidemiological situation allows it is still applicable.
The Council has decided not to remove the Digital COVID Certificate since the coronavirus is still prevalent across the EU Member States.
Some changes in EU Digital COVID Certificate
The Commission has also suggested some changes to the certificate in order to adjust it to the evolving situation worldwide. The changes concern including all doses in a vaccination certificate, regardless of the place of its administration.
It will facilitate the Member States to issue certificates for fully vaccinated persons (those who have received booster shots after nine months from the date of receiving the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine).
Moreover, travelers will now be able to obtain recovery certificates based on a positive antigen test report, which so far has not been accepted.
And the last change regards obliging the Commission to provide a detailed report on the certificate by February 2023.
The decision will become fully effective if Council and the EU Parliament reach an agreement under the ordinary legislative procedure before the current certificate regulations expire.
Countries participating in the EU COVID Digital Certificate System
The certificate was introduced in mid-2021 and since then those vaccinated against COVID-19, recovered from the virus, or those tested negative have been able to travel more freely across the EU. The European Union has also recognized on the same terms the certificates issued by other non-EU 30 world countries.
Currently, there are 62 countries participating in the system, including:
- 27 EU member countries
- Cabo Verde
- El Salvador
- Faroe Islands
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- San Marino
- United Arab Emirates
- The United Kingdom and the Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man)
- The Vatican