What is EU Digital COVID Certificate and how to use it for travel?

Travel news

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June 24, 2021

By | June 24, 2021

From 1 July, the EU covid passport becomes available in all EU Member States

Finding our way around the different travel rules and regulations in the past one a half years has been quite challenging. That’s why the EU is introducing a new covid passport, also called the Digital Green Certificate, which will simplify the process of getting across borders while keeping both travelers and the locals safe.

What is the EU covid passport?

Essentially, it is an official certificate to be accepted by all the European Union Member States and its main purpose is to facilitate safe and free movement of people within the bloc.

The EU Digital COVID certificate (EUDCC) is used to verify that a person has been vaccinated, recovered from COVID-19, or tested negative for the virus.

The main features of the certificate are:

Digital and/or paper format

QR code

Free of charge

In national language and English

Safe and secure

Valid in all EU countries

Citizens of each state will have the option to acquire a paper certificate and a digital one, which can be stored on their mobile phones. Such a certificate will include a QR code and essential personal information (full name, date of birth, and the name of the EU Member State) verifying its authenticity and validity.

The personal data on the certificate do not get stored or passed on while being checked by another Member State, which ensures their safety and security.

How do I obtain the EU covid passport?

The EU covid passport will be fully rolled out on 1 July The EU covid passport will be fully rolled out on 1 July — CC-BY-4.0: © European Union 2020 – Source: EP

To obtain the passport, it is necessary to meet the requirements for vaccination, recovery, or testing negative. Each country is issuing certificates via its own channels and apps created in collaboration with the European Commission.

Vaccinated travelers will be issued a certificate after the first shot of a two-dose vaccine. The used vaccine must be approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) — Pfizer, Moderna, Astra Zeneca, and Janssen.

The certificate of a vaccinated person will include additional information on the vaccine, such as its manufacturer, the number of administered doses, and the date of the vaccination.

Those who have recovered from the disease will have their covid certificates valid for 180 days since the last positive test result: “The EU Digital Covid Certificate of recovery confirms that the holder has recovered from a SARS-CoV-2 infection following a positive test. It should be issued no earlier than 11 days after the first positive test,” according to the European Commission.

A test certificate is based on either a PCR or antigen test with a negative result.

What countries are set to adopt the EU covid passport?

On 1 June, the interconnection of national systems — EU Gateway — was launched. It was followed by one month of a warm-up phase in which individual countries were able to start using the certificate on a voluntary basis.

A handful of European countries started using the certificate during the warm-up phase, and these are Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia, and Poland.

All EU and several non-EU countries are now effectively connected to the system. The non-EU ones ready to start using it include Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and Vatican City.

What follows is a so-called phase-in period between 1 July and 12 August in which the EU Member States can still use other formats than the covid passport in case they are not ready to start issuing the covid certificates to their citizens. These formats should be accepted by the other Member States as well.

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