European Parliament and Member States Reached Deal on Covid-19 Digital Certificates
The European Parliament and the member states reached a provisional deal on Thursday (20 May) on COVID-19 certificates designed to facilitate travel and help revive tourism in Europe.
Once the political compromise on the EU digital COVID certificate, previously known as the European digital green certificate, is approved by the Parliament and by the Council representing the 27 EU countries, it will come into force on 1 July.
The agreed text will be put to the Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) on 26 May. If confirmed, it will be tabled for adoption during Parliament’s plenary session on 7-10 June. In parallel, the Council will have to confirm the agreement as well.
The EU digital Covid Certificate, which may be in digital format as a QR code, or on paper, will attest that a person has been vaccinated against coronavirus, has had a recent negative test result or has recovered from the infection. This will let authorities determine the status of a visitor based on records in their home EU country.
The certificate will not be a precondition to exercise the right to free movement and will not be considered a travel document. The scheme also covers non-EU members of the border-free Schengen zone – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.
An agreement for budgetary support was also reached to make tests more affordable for all citizens. The European Commission committed to mobilising “at least €100 million” under the Emergency Support Instrument to help the member states offset the cost of the tests.
Additional travel restrictions such as quarantine, self-isolation or testing should not be imposed by the member states.
On Wednesday (19 May) four parties: EPP, S&D, Renew Europe and The Greens/EFA, has sent the letter signed by their presidents to the Council’s and the Commission’s representatives, asking for facilitation of free testing for the use of the Covid-19 certificate and avoiding additional travel restrictions from the member states.