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EU Commission: Recovery Certificate Can Now Be Issued Based on Positive Rapid Antigen Test

The European Commission has adopted new rules on the issuance of refund certificates, making the process easier and more convenient.

According to a press release from the Commission, as of today, February 22, EU member states will be able to issue take back certificates based on a positive rapid antigen test result.

This means travelers, especially those who contracted COVID-19 during the Omicron wave, will be able to travel freely and easily, reports.

“The EU’s digital COVID certificate evolves according to the situation. In order to facilitate free movement, especially of citizens infected during the Omicron wave, member states can now also issue recovery certificates based on high-quality rapid antigen tests,” said Commissioner of Justice, Didier Reynders.

Previously, member states, as well as other countries that have been successfully attached to the EU DCC, were able to issue return certificates only if a person tested positive with an RT-PCR test. However, because rapid antigen tests also proved accurate, the commission decided to relax the rules.

However, it has been emphasized that a rapid antigen test used for the purpose of issuing/obtaining a refund certificate must be part of the European Union’s Common List of Rapid Antigen Tests.

Additionally, it was noted that rapid antigen testing should be performed by healthcare professionals or trained individuals, indicating that self-tests cannot be used to obtain recovery certification.

Commenting on the new decision, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, said that the Common List of Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Tests accepted within the EU enables member states to identify high-quality tests that are validated by the independent EU. Evaluation studies, indicating that no manipulation can be performed.

“Based on this list, member states will now also be able to use rapid antigen tests for recovery certification and relieve some of the significant pressure on national testing capabilities due to the emergence of Omicron. We are committed to ensuring that the EU digital certification follows the latest developments and scientific advice.”

The new rules regarding the issuance of recovery certificates come into effect immediately, and Member States can begin issuing recovery certificates based on rapid antigen tests whenever they are ready.

Regarding the validity of refund certificates, the committee clarified that the document remains valid for 180 days after the date of the first positive test result.

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