The Council of the European Union has agreed to extend the EU’s COVID digital certification for another year, until June 2023.
The decision was announced by the EU Council on March 11, Friday, after the Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) formally endorsed the Council’s mandate to negotiate with Parliament to extend the regulation creating the EU’s COVID digital certificate.
“The COVID digital certificate has played an important role in facilitating the free movement of people during the pandemic. The principle of gradual lifting of travel restrictions if the epidemiological situation allows it remains in place,” the council said in a press release regarding this step.
Back on February 3, TheSchengen.com reported that the European Union Commission had revealed a proposal to extend certification for another year, after assessing that the coronavirus was still spreading across member states. The same has argued that it is not possible to stop using the certificate as a means of safe travel this summer while the proposal is revealed.
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On the same date, the commission also proposed several changes to the certificate to better adjust it with the evolving situation of the coronavirus in the block, but also in the world.
The changes include the ability to include all doses on the vaccination certificate, regardless of where they are taken, in order to make it easier for Member States to issue certificates to those fully vaccinated (those who have been vaccinated with boosters after nine months).
At the same time, travelers will also be eligible for recovery certificates if they take an antigen test with positive results for COVID-19, which has not been possible until now.
The third and final change is the obligation of the authority to submit a detailed report on the certificate by the first of next February.
“This report could be accompanied by legislative proposals to allow a reassessment of the need to revoke or extend certification, depending on the evolving health situation,” the council notes in its press release.
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Now for the decision to become fully effective, the Council and the EU Parliament must reach agreement under normal legislative procedure before the expiration date of the current regulation on certification.
The certification has been in effect since mid-2021 and has enabled those vaccinated against COVID-19 and those recovering from the virus, as well as those who test negative, to travel more freely around the building. At the same time, the European Union has recognized it as the equivalent of the EU’s COVID-19 digital certificates, which are certificates issued by more than 30 other countries in the world.
So far, there are 62 countries that are part of the system, which are the countries as follows:
27 EU Member States Albania Andorra Armenia Benin Cabo Verde El Salvador Faroe Islands Georgia Israel Iceland Jordan Lebanon Liechtenstein Moldova Monaco Montenegro Morocco New Zealand Northern Macedonia Norway Panama San Marino Serbia Singapore Switzerland Taiwan Thailand Tunisia Togo Turkey Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom and Crown Dependencies ( Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man) Uruguay Vatican
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