EC issues new guidelines for checking EU Digital Covid Certificates

The European Commission has issued guidelines for EU member states on the best ways to check EU Digital Covid Certificates before travel, ensuring the smoothest possible experience for air passengers and staff alike, the Commission said on July 22.

The EU Digital Covid Certificate provides either proof of vaccination, shows if a person holds a negative SARS-COV-2 test result, or has recovered from Covid-19.

As passenger numbers will rise over the summer, an increased number of certificates will need to be checked, the Commission said.

The airline sector is particularly concerned by this since, in July for example, air traffic is expected to reach more than 60 per cent of 2019 levels, and will rise thereafter.

Currently, how and how often passenger’s certificates are checked, depends on the holder’s departure, transit and arrival points.

A better-coordinated approach would help avoid congestion at airports and unnecessary stress for passengers and staff, the Commission said.

European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean said: “Reaping the full benefits of the EU Digital COVID Certificate requires the harmonization of the verification protocol. Cooperating for a ‘one-stop’ system to check the certificates makes for a seamless travel experience for the passengers across the Union.”

To avoid duplication, that is checks by more than one actor (airline operators, public authorities etc.), the Commission recommends a “one-stop” verification process prior to departure, involving coordination between authorities, airports and airlines.

Moreover, EU member states should ensure that the verification is carried out as early as possible and preferably before the passenger arrives at the departure airport.

“This should ensure smoother travel and less burden for all involved,” the Commission said.

The recommendations may be found in English at this link.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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