The European Commission is proposing to create a EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC), previously called the Digital Green Certificate, to facilitate safe free movement inside the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic. The EU Digital COVID Certificate will be a proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result or recovered from COVID-19.
How does it work?
It will be available, free of charge, in digital or paper format. It will include a QR code to ensure security and authenticity of the certificate.
In March, the head of the European Commission vaccines task force Thierry Breton unveiled the first European “health passport”
La première version du certificat sanitaire qui va être mis en place dès cet été présenté en exclusivité par .@ThierryBreton .@RTLFrance #legrandjury : il existera évidemment en français pic.twitter.com/KJYIbwDoxO— Mangin Catherine (@catherinemangin) March 28, 2021
The EU DIGITAL COVID CERTIFICATE will cover three types of certificates –vaccination certificates, test certificates (NAAT/RT-PCR test or a rapid antigen test), and certificates for persons who have recovered from COVID-19.
The Commission will build a gateway and support Member States to develop software that authorities can use to verify all certificate signatures across the EU. No personal data of the certificate holders passes through the gateway, or is retained by the verifying Member State.
All people – vaccinated and non-vaccinated – should benefit from a EU Digital COVID Certificate when travelling in the EU. To prevent discrimination against individuals who are not vaccinated, the Commission proposes to create not only an interoperable vaccination certificate, but also COVID-19 test certificates and certificates for persons who have recovered from COVID-19.
When can I get one?
Hopefully, by June.The regulation will come into force on July 1 and will have a six-week phasing-in period for any member states that need more time.
However, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on last Thursday the system would be ready at an EU level “in the next few days”, meaning member states would shortly be able to begin their domestic rollouts.
Which vaccines are recognised?
All COVID-19 vaccines authorised by the European Medicines Agency will be recognised by the EUDCC. These include the jabs developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
Member states will also be free to decide for themselves whether to accept other vaccines.
Only essential information and secure personal data
The certificates will include a limited set of information such as name, date of birth, date of issuance, relevant information about vaccine/test/recovery and a unique identifier of the certificate. This data can be checked only to confirm and verify the authenticity and validity of certificates.
The EU Digital COVID Certificate system is a temporary measure. It will be suspended once the World Health Organization (WHO) declares the end of the COVID-19 international health emergency.
The latest information on coronavirus measures as well as travel restrictions are available on the Re-open EU platform.
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