EU Digital COVID Certificate
Saving the tourism industry and summer holidays
On 1 July 2021, the EU Digital COVID Certificate Regulation entered into application in all EU Member States. EU citizens and residents will now be able to have their Digital COVID Certificate issued and verified across the EU. In principle, holders of this certificate should be exempted from travel and movement restrictions across all EU Member States.
The Certificate will provide an EU wide digital proof of vaccination, negative test results or recoveries from COVID-19 to facilitate safe and free movement of citizens within the EU. However, the paper version continues to be accepted throughout the EU27. Both the digital and the authorized paper version have a QR-Code, containing the most relevant information and a digital signature to verify the authenticity of the certificate. Depending on the Member States, the issuing is done directly in the vaccination centres or either by pharmacies and doctors or via eHealth platforms.
21 EU countries as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein had already started to issue certificates earlier. Despite some "teething" problems, the EU has acted in an unusually expedited manner in order to adopt the legislative framework in record time. Moreover, the European Commission pushed the EU countries to do so at national level and to organize the issuing of certificates.
A lot has therefore happened since we last reported "Saving free movement and the tourism industry with an EU vaccination passport - dubbed a Digital Green Certificate" on the earlier named "Digital Green Certificate".
Free movement in the EU, guaranteed in principle as a fundamental principle of EU law but endangered through national measures to contain the spread of the virus, is upheld, as is the security of personal data.
EU Member States however use their national prerogatives and have national additional certification systems for granting access to public places, from restaurants to festivals. These national systems may confuse the public at large, but at least for travellers, summer can start. The certificate will thus help bringing the tourism industry out of the doldrums.