The EU Digital COVID Certificate comes into effect today
From now on, the citizens of the European Union will be able to circulate safely and freely during the COVID-19 pandemic
As of today, the EU Digital COVID Certification Regulation enters into force. This means that EU citizens and residents will now be able to issue and verify their digital COVID Certificates throughout the EU. 21 Member States, as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, had already started issuing certificates before today's deadline, and five EU countries start today.
The Commission's work on EU digital COVID certificates was led by Commissioner Didier Reynders in close collaboration with Vice-Presidents Vera Jourová and Margaritis Schinas and Commissioners Thierry Breton, Stella Kyriakide and Ylva Johansson.
Welcoming the application entry of the EU digital COVID Certificate, President Ursula von der Leyen said:
“The European Union is delivering on its citizens. The European Digital COVID Certificate is a symbol of an open and secure Europe that opens cautiously, putting the protection of the health of our citizens first.
In March, we promised to have an EU-wide system to facilitate free and safe travel within the EU before the summer holidays. We can now confirm that the EU digital COVID certificate system is up and running.
The vast majority of EU Member States are already connected to the system and ready to issue and verify Certificates. More than 200 million certificates have already been generated.
We are helping Europeans to regain the freedom that they value and cherish so much ”.
EU digital COVID certificate
The aim of the EU digital COVID certificate is to facilitate safe and free movement in 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, helping to exempt holders from restrictions such as quarantine.
The EU digital COVID certificate will be accessible to everyone and:
covers COVID-19 vaccination, testing and recovery;
it is free and available in all EU languages;
it is available in digital and paper format;
it is secure and includes a digitally signed QR code;
Under the new rules, Member States must refrain from imposing additional travel restrictions on holders of an EU digital COVID certificate, unless they are necessary and proportionate to safeguard public health.
In addition, the Commission committed to mobilizing € 100 million under the Emergency Support Instrument to help Member States provide affordable testing.
WTTC and her vision of the measure
Virginia Messina, Senior Vice President of WTTC, said: “The WTTC is confident that the EU digital COVID certificate will boost consumer confidence and the travel and tourism sector across Europe, which has fought for survive for more than a year.
“The certificate is a great example and should help return from safe international travel; help recover jobs and signal the reactivation of a sector that will be essential for economic recovery across the continent.
“We would like to congratulate the EU Commission and the institutions for adopting this quickly; However, EU Member States must adopt a coordinated and harmonized approach, aligning policies to avoid fragmentation and confusion among tourists who need easy-to-understand rules and regulations to travel smoothly during this difficult time.
“The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global travel and tourism sector has eliminated millions of jobs and seen its contribution to GDP fall. The lives of the millions of people who depend on the sector have also been disrupted by the pandemic, causing great stress and concern.
"We are hopeful that the new COVID digital certificate will play an important role in the safe reopening of an industry that will be critical to saving jobs, livelihoods and economies around the world."