The EU Digital COVID Certificate, a user’s guide
Advice. The EU Digital COVID Certificate must be available for free to any EU citizen or resident who requests it in order to certify their partial or complete vaccination, the negative result of a coronavirus test or the fact that they have had and overcome Covid-19. The document opens the doors to travel across the EU and the bearer will have exactly the same rights as vaccinated – or recovered – citizens in the country they are visiting.
Where is it valid?
The certificate and the applications that allow for it to be downloaded are available from July 1, in the 27 EU countries with the exception of Ireland, which will not incorporate it until mid-July as a consequence of a cyberattack recently suffered by the country’s health system. The three countries in the European Economic Area – Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein – will also be participating in the system. Switzerland is due to join up, once a deal has been reached on the mutual recognition of the respective certificates.
Who will issue it?
The healthcare authorities in each country will issue the certificate once a person has been vaccinated or indeed when they request it. The certificate will be valid in any EU country and residents of Spain should check with their regional healthcare system as to how exactly they can access the certificate, as the systems differ from territory to territory. More information here
Which vaccines does it include?
The vaccination certificate will be granted to people who have received the vaccines authorized so far by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). These are: BioNTech-Pfizer, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Janssen. If they want to, EU countries will also be able to accept a vaccination certificate for any of the other vaccines authorized for their emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO).
How old do you need to be?
The certificate will be available for all ages. Children aged between 12 and 15 will be able to receive the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine, according to the EMA. Minors will also be able to obtain the certificate to certify that they have overcome Covid-19 or have received a negative coronavirus test.
What will the certificate do?
The certificate has been developed primarily to facilitate movement between countries. But the European Commission encouraged national authorities to roll its use out to other purposes: to go to concerts, festivals, theaters, restaurants.
The European Commission has insisted that the certificate is not a passport, and that its use is voluntary and will never be obligatory for travel. People who have not been vaccinated will enjoy the same freedom to travel from one country to another, but will be subject to the local restrictions in place such as tests or a quarantine.
The EC has also recommended that, as far as possible, that verification of the certificate be carried out before passengers arrive at the airport to avoid long lines and crowds that would breach social-distancing guidelines. The Commission has also called for the controls to be sporadic and not systematic.