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Digital Covid Certificate for Europe

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Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, travel restrictions around the world have been introduced in countries to help prevent the virus from being brought in over the borders or increasing the rates, where it already was in circulation.
Some countries were very quick to bring the travel restrictions in and saw great success in the form of very small infection rates compared to other countries around the world. However, travel restrictions have affected the global economies and industries such as travel and hospitality have been heavily impacted.
The race to produce an effective vaccination was the first step towards a situation where travel restrictions could be eased and then the speed of rolling out the vaccinations has been the next step in getting the world a bit closer to normality.
With many countries now getting closer to having the majority of the adult population vaccinated, the medical experts are giving positive indications that travel between these countries can resume with less concern for spreading the virus.

When does the Digital COVID Certificate come into effect?

The European Council has been working on a Digital COVID Certificate that can allow travelers to safely move around Europe again and this should be officially implemented on 1st July. The certificate will be used as evidence that the person has either tested negative for COVID-19, has received a vaccine or is immunized.
The EU Gateway for the Digital COVID Certificate has been used in 9 member countries since June 1st to help open up travel again and it is thought that similar systems will be used around the world. The pass includes a QR code that will be able to keep people’s data secure and can easily be scanned at airports for border control to check that passengers have met the requirements to enable them to travel.
The technical system that has been developed allows EU members to verify certificates without compromising the privacy of data for the individuals using the Digital COVID Certificate. All 22 nations in the EU have been involved in comprehensive testing of the system to ensure that it is ready and fit for purpose.
It is not clear whether the UK will follow the same approach, as they have now exited Europebut the government have recently indicated that a similar system could be used, with the NHS app possibly being used to evidence vaccination status.
The certificate may also be referred to as a green travel pass and it has received backing from leaders across Europe who want to see normal travel resume and bring the economic benefits of doing so.

How will the Digital COVID Certificate work?

When the QR code is scanned at border security, one of the following types of information should be visible:
  • The holder has received their vaccination (and the date received).
  • Results of COVID-19 tests which includes NAAT (RT-PCR) and rapid antigen tests.
  • Health certificates that show the holder has recovered from COVID-19 and therefore has immunity.

Which vaccinations are considered valid?

Currently the vaccines that have been agreed as valid for the Digital COVID Certificate are the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen.
Written by: Fikayomi Abisola
Abisola is an ETIAS Travel and Immigration writer with several years of writing experience in the industry. Abisola has a unique enthusiasm for travels, tours, and tourism and loves to educate travellers about the criteria involved in international travelling.

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