The UK and Armenia became part of the EU’s digital COVID-19 certificate system today, October 28, after all conditions were met to become part of the system, TheSchengen.com reports.
The European Commission has adopted two equivalent decisions on COVID-19 certificates issued by the UK and Armenia for travelers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, who have recovered from the virus, and those who have tested negative.
“Good news for travelers to the UK and Armenia! Today, we have taken two new decisions certifying that the COVID-19 certificates issued by these two countries are equivalent to the EU’s COVID digital certificate,” the EU Commission revealed in a tweet today.
The move means that COVID-19 certificates issued by the UK and Armenia authorities will be recognized under the same conditions as EU digital COVID certificates, starting on October 29, when the decision will come into effect.
Commenting on the decision, EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders said the EU’s digital COVID certification has made safe travel a reality and is now a leading global standard.
45 countries on four continents are linked to the system, with more to follow in the coming weeks and months. “We are open to other countries to join our system,” the commissioner said.
Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia and Poland were the first countries to join the portal on June 1 by starting to issue the first COVID-19 passports in the bloc. By mid-July, all EU countries and the Schengen area were part of the system, as well as the small European states of San Marino and Vatican City.
On August 20, the European Union Commission adopted three decisions equivalent to North Macedonia, Turkey and Ukraine, thus recognizing COVID-19 passports issued by these three countries.
Later, on September 16, the commission recognized the certificates issued by Albania, Andorra, the Faroe Islands, Israel, Monaco, Morocco and Panama.
So far, the list of third countries, COVID-19 certificates issued and which will be recognized as being equal to those issued in the European Union, consists of the following.
Albania Armenia Faroe Islands Israel Morocco North Macedonia Panama Turkey Ukraine United Kingdom
The UK has been trying to get its NHS Covid Pass recognized under the European Union’s Digital Vaccine Certification Program since early summer, on 28 July. And now that she’s finally joined the show, not everyone seems to be happy with this decision.
“Obviously there’s good news and some collaboration – but I like the way the UK and Armenia are doing the same statement… It says all about where Boris Johnson took us! No disrespect for Armenia, of course!” the Twitter user wrote.
“But what about our independence and sovereignty! I wouldn’t go through all the pain of Brexit to force some EU system on me! Another commented.
Since the launch of the EU COVID-19 passport, over 591 million certificates have been issued as of mid-October.
According to the EU Commission, the document was also a key component in supporting the tourism industry in Europe, which has been hit hard by the pandemic.