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EU Commission Urges Member States to Lift Last Remaining Travel Restrictions

The European Union Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, has encouraged member states that still impose travel restrictions due to the coronavirus, to remove these measures.

He made these calls while commenting on the adoption of the second report on the impact and implementation across the European Union of the EU’s COVID digital certificate by the Commission, on Tuesday, 15 March.

“As the situation evolves, UNHCR is working to ensure a speedy return to unrestricted freedom of movement. We urge Member States to lift the last remaining travel restrictions – particularly where domestic measures are also being lifted.

At the same time, he revealed that so far, more than 1.7 million certificates have been issued across member states since the same was adopted last year in July 2021, in an effort by EU authorities to ease COVID-19 travel restrictions and restore freedom of movement within the bloc.

Over 1.7 billion certificates have been issued to date. The EU Digital COVID Certificate has proven to be a reliable and easy-to-use tool, allowing citizens to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

On March 11, the Council of the European Union agreed to extend the EU’s COVID digital certificate for another year, until June 2023.

The authority also approved several changes to the certificate to better adjust it with the developments of the coronavirus situation 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.

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

>> The EU accepts COVID-19 certificates from two additional countries as equivalent to the EU COVID digital certificate

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