The European Union’s (EU) digital COVID certificate (EUDCC) was officially signed on Monday in Brussels, Belgium. This comes after three EU institutions worked together for the health pass to be ready on time for the summer holidays.
President of the European Parliament David Sassoli, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, and Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Costa representing the Council of the EU, signed the COVID certificate.
“Now we can travel in a safe way. Safe for ourselves, for those who host us, and for our families, neighbors and colleagues when we come back,” says Costa.
“With the success of our European vaccination campaign and this new EU certificate, we can all look forward to the summer. To travel safely. And we are bringing back the spirit of an open Europe,” says von der Leyen.
The COVID certificate isn’t a travel document
The EUDCC will enable EU residents to travel safely during summer within the borders of the bloc, without additional restrictions. Travel restrictions may come into force, if necessary, for example in the case of a variant of concern. But this has to be proportionate.
However, the COVID certificate will not be a prerequisite to travel within the Schengen area. Also it won’t be a travel document. The health pass is a proof that the holder got the vaccine shots; passed a negative COVID-19 test, or recovered from the disease. It is either digital or in a paper form.
The COVID certificate will be available to all EU residents as of July 1, although some countries have already started using it. A gateway is in place for countries to verify the validity of the EUDCC. Four non-EU countries; Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Iceland, and Norway, are part of the gateway.
The idea of the European COVID certificate was proposed in March by the European Commission.