EU Countries Introduce Digital COVID Certificates for Travel
Over a year ago, the EU closed its borders to tourists. But, it will now begin allowing entry to passengers providing they are from countries with low infection rates.
Additionally, the EU’s plans for a digital COVID Certificate have been pushed forward, and they are due to go live. So far, seven member states have started rolling out certificates.
The seven countries that have already connected to the gateway and have begun issuing the EU certificates are Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia, and Poland.
The digital certificate may be in the form of a QR code, which can be scanned from a mobile phone or printed. It will show if the person has been vaccinated, had a recent negative test result, or recently recovered from infection.
These will be factors for many countries when deciding which travelers to allow entry to. The information will allow authorities to check the status of visitors based on records from their home EU country.
A provisional deal was reached on the 20th of May, over a month ahead of the proposals entering the application phase, which is due to happen on the 1st of July.
However, despite the full rollout not due until next month, countries that are ready to use the systems and have passed the technical tests can start using the system now voluntarily.
The speed of the rollout also depends on the progress that’s been made by each country. For example, Germany has made certificates available in a number of regions, and three more countries are already linked to the gateway and due to begin soon.
On the other hand, there are several EU countries that only plan to launch the certificates once they can be used by all citizens nationally.
The EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said the EU has made “a good start,” adding that, “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.”