In search of reactivating tourism, the Eurochamber approved the launch of the European Union Covid Certificate, which will allow travel without restrictions within the community space from July 1, as long as you are vaccinated against the coronavirus, have antibodies or present a negative test.
It is a free certificate, which will be issued in digital or physical format and will have the basic information about the medical situation of its owner with respect to Covid-19, while avoiding the exchange of protected data and guaranteeing the veracity of the information collected.
In addition, the EU institutions made it clear in the negotiation process that this certificate It should not be understood in any case as a kind of passport or travel document, because it does not interfere with the right to free movement.
Its launch in the whole of the European Union is announced for July 1, although there are already about a dozen countries that deliver European certificates to their vaccinated citizens.
In that sense, the Justice Commissioner, Didier Reynders, urged this Tuesday to start distributing them “now” to avoid a “big bang”, product of excessive demand, and last minute technical problems.
Charles Michel, President of the European Council, during the session in Strasbourg, France. Photo EFE
The 27 countries of the bloc promised not to impose “additional restrictions“to travelers who have this certificate, which means that they will be exempt from the obligation to comply with quarantines or to carry out a new test on arrival at the destination of the trip.
Meanwhile, national governments reserved the right to activate a “emergency break“with which they will be able to reintroduce restrictions in cases of emergency, for example if the person travels from an area with a very high circulation of the virus or from where new dangerous strains have been detected.
In this case, the Member State that decides to reintroduce measures must do so in a proportionate and limited manner, following the scientific criteria and epidemiological data of the European Center for Disease Prevention (ECDC), in addition to sending a prior notification to the European Commission, to its EU partners and to the public.
The European Parliament, which endorsed this instrument with a vast majority With 546 votes in favor, 93 against and 51 abstentions, it tried unsuccessfully during negotiations with member states to make the diagnostic tests linked to the certificate free, to avoid discrimination between citizens who are vaccinated free of charge and those who must pay a fee. PCR to be able to travel.
On the other hand, EU countries will have the obligation to accept vaccination certificates issued in other Member States for vaccines authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), although they will be free to accept also those issued for vaccines authorized according to national procedures or on the World Health Organization (WHO) list for use in emergencies.
After the vote in favor in the plenary session of the European Parliament, meeting in Strasbourg, France, for the first time since the pandemic was declared in Europe, the certificate must still comply with the formal adoption by the Council throughout this week, with the aim that its completion will be signed next Monday.
With information from agencies