The presidents of the three EU institutions, the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission attended the official signing ceremony on June 14 for the Regulation on the EU Digital Covid Certificate, marking the end of the legislative process, the Commission said.
Following the official signing on June 14, the regulation will enter into force on July 1, with a phasing-in period of six weeks for the issuance of certificates for those EU member states that need additional time.
Thirteen EU countries, including Bulgaria, have already started to issue EU Digital Covid Certificates.
On March 17, the European Commission presented a proposal to create an EU Covid Certificate to facilitate the safe free movement of citizens within the EU during the pandemic.
On May 20, co-legislators reached a provisional agreement. On June 1, the technical backbone of the systems, the EU gateway, went live. The gateway allows the verification of the security features contained in the QR codes.
The aim of the EU Digital Covid Certificate is to facilitate safe and free movement inside the EU during the Covid-19 pandemic. All Europeans have the right to free movement, also without the certificate, but the certificate will facilitate travel, exempting holders from restrictions like quarantine, the Commission said.
The EU Digital Covid Certificate will be accessible for everyone and it will:
- cover Covid-19 vaccination, test and recovery;
- be free of charge and available in all EU languages;
- be available in a digital and paper-based format;
- be secure and include a digitally signed QR code;
“Member states shall refrain from imposing additional travel restrictions on the holders of an EU Digital Covid Certificate, unless they are necessary and proportionate to safeguard public health,” the Commission said.
In addition, the Commission committed to mobilising 100 million euro under the Emergency Support Instrument to support EU countries in providing affordable tests.
The Regulation will apply for 12 months as of July 1 2021.
(Photo: EC Audiovisual Service)
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