The European Parliament, at its full meeting in Strasbourg on Wednesday, formally approved the EU’s Digital Govt Certificate, which aims to facilitate travel within the EU and revitalize the tourism sector.
CThe certificate will be issued free of charge by the national authorities: it will be available in digital or paper form and will contain the QR code. It will certify whether its holder has been vaccinated against the corona virus, recently obtained the result of a negative screening test, or that he has recovered from the infection. A common European framework will enable certification to be operational and to be recognized throughout the EU and to prevent fraud and forgery.
The system will come into effect on July 1, 2021 and will be in effect for 12 months. The certificate underscores the European Parliament that “it is not a prerequisite for exercising one’s right to freedom of movement and is not considered a travel document”.
During negotiations outside the Constitution, MEPs reached an agreement prohibiting member states from imposing additional travel restrictions on certified holders, such as isolation, self-isolation or screening tests.
Member states must also take into account scientific evidence, “including epidemiological data released by the European Center for Prevention and Control of Disease Control (ECTC)”. They must notify other member states, the Commission of New Operations, 48 hours in advance if possible, and citizens 24 hours in advance.
Furthermore, the European Parliament emphasizes that EU member states are encouraged to make the test affordable and widely available. At the request of the parliament, the European Commission promised to raise 100 million euros under the emergency aid kit. Thanks to these funds member states can purchase tests that allow them to issue digital Govt certificates, it is recalled.
With regard to vaccines, the European Parliament insists that all EU countries adopt vaccination certificates issued by other member countries. They can also determine whether they accept certificates for vaccines approved in accordance with national procedures or appear on the WHO emergency use list.
This text must now be formally adopted by the Council of EU (Member States), which is intended to come into force and apply from 1 July 2021.