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Proposed Changes on EU COVID Passports’ Validity Will Increase Vaccination Rates, EU Minister Says

An EU proposal to update the EU’s digital COVID certificate, making the document valid for only nine months, is a factor that will push more people to get vaccinated in the EU by an EU minister.

Speaking to Euractiv, the minister said updating digital COVID documents with a booster dose would force EU member states lagging behind in vaccination rates to catch up, TheSchengen.com reports.

Shortly after the European Commission proposed shortening the maximum acceptability of such documents, the Czech Republic’s Minister of Health, Adam Wojciech, stressed that the country would reduce the validity of such documents to just nine months starting next month.

In response to the current epidemiological situation and the increase in the number of infections that many countries are currently facing, especially due to the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen previously stressed that the time has come for Europe to consider the imposition of mandatory vaccination against the Covid virus. 19 for all citizens.

However, such a decision caused controversy within the authorities of European countries. Politicians in countries that currently have low rates of COVID-19 infection, such as Bulgaria and Romania, have insisted that there should be other alternatives instead of imposing mandatory vaccination requirements.

In this regard, the authorities in Italy stressed that compulsory vaccination at this stage is a “wrong strategy”.

Public Administration Minister Renato Brunetta noted that “a decision that does not improve performance, results in fines that will likely not be paid, provokes unpollinated anger, serves no purpose.”

Authorities in European Union countries have introduced a digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate to the European Union in order to facilitate travel for all people who have completed immunization against the virus with one of the vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency such as AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer and Janssen.

Although the authorities in European countries are now discussing the possibility of imposing a validity period for such documents, some countries have already implemented such changes to certificates.

Earlier, the authorities in Croatia announced that they had imposed the expiration date of the vaccine. These changes caused confusion among travelers.

Based on the Croatian government’s publication at the time, travelers will not be allowed to enter the Balkan country without a negative coronavirus test result if more than 210 days have passed since they took the second dose of any approved vaccine.

Besides Croatia, Austria also imposed an expiration date on these documents, similar to the authorities in Zagreb.

According to the European Commission, up to this point, more than 650 million COVID-19 digital certificates have been issued by the European Union.

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Source: schengenvisainfo.com

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