The European Union is set to make available its COVID-19 passport for all EU citizens and residents, as well as for specific categories of travellers from third countries, by July 1.
The procedures for the launch of the certificate are completed on the side of the EU Commission, while it now remains up to the Member States to implement it within the next weeks.
SchengenVisaInfo.com announced on June 1 that seven EU countries had already started to issue EU COVID-19 passports – Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia and Poland. On June 4, Iceland also started to implement the pilot system for the issuance of COVID certificates.
Whereas at the very beginning of this week, Switzerland joined the list and started issuing the first COVID passports to its citizens. The rest of the 20 EU Member States are expected to implement the system in the following weeks.
Back in April 2020, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that a vaccine would for sure become mandatory for those wishing to travel throughout the Schengen Area once it is approved and available.
However, the Commission first brought forward the proposal for the creation of a document which would enable those vaccinated to travel restriction-free throughout Europe in mid-March this year, in a bid to restore the freedom of travel for vaccinated persons, those who have recovered from the virus, and those who test negative, amid COVID-19.
Since then, the proposal has gone through all of the EU procedures for the approval of regulation, and now, on July 1, all of the Member States are expected to start issuing vaccine passports, at least partially.
Following in this article, find all of the necessary information on the EU COVID-19 travel certificates, also called vaccine passports among travellers.
What Is the Purpose of EU’s COVID-19 Passport?
The European COVID-19 travel certificate has been created by the European Union in a bid to restore the freedom of travel, which has been put at a halt for over a year now, since the pandemic erupted all over the block. Through the certificate, the Commission intends to remove travel restrictions as entry bans, quarantine obligation, and testing.
The EU Commission has encouraged the Member States to remove the entry restrictions imposed on the freedom of movement since mid-March 2020, for those that hold such a document, starting from July 1, though the members have the option to remove those restrictions earlier, as many already have.
“When travelling, every Digital Green Certificate holder will have the same rights as citizens of the visited Member State who have been vaccinated, tested or recovered,” the EU Commission had explained presenting the certificate.
The Member States are not legally obliged to implement the certificate. However, all of them are already in the process of introducing it. They will still be able to impose restrictions on arrivals from the other EU countries, yet, they must inform the Commission and all rest of the Member States and provide reasons why such measures are being taken.
What Is an EU COVID-19 Vaccine Passport/Certificate?
The EU COVID-19 Vaccine Passport/Certificate is a one-piece document that can be issued to a traveller in both a paper and digital format.
Depending on the traveller’s status, there are three types of EU’s COVID-19 passport launched.
- Vaccination passport
- Test certificate
- Recovery certificate
Those holding such a document will be able to travel throughout Europe without the need to quarantine or test for COVID-19 (though the Member States may impose such restrictions on particular countries with a higher COVID-19 rate).
What Is a Vaccination Passport?
The EU COVID Vaccination Passport will be issued to all those who have been fully vaccinated against the…