Travelling Around EU with a digital COVID certificate
Last Tuesday, 25 January, EU ministers agreed that valid EU digital COVID certificate holders should not be subject to additional restrictions such as quarantine when entering another member state.
As a result of a recommendation adopted, those vaccinated, recovered from the COVID-disease, or have a negative COVID-19 test should not be subjected to quarantine. Travelling Around EU with a digital COVID certificate
Though endorsed by most EU member states and agreed by the EU Council, the recommendations are not mandatory.
“It is important that member states follow up on this agreement and implement the rules agreed without delay. Each member state decides based on the circumstances it is facing,” Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakdes and Commissioner for justice Didier Reynders said in a joint statement following the agreement.
“It is time to look at the discontinuation of the additional travel measures that several member states have introduced in the past weeks, making travel more cumbersome and less predictable across the EU,” the note follows.
Italia, for instance, raised eyebrows in Brussels when it introduced mandatory PCR tests for vaccinated travellers and quarantined travellers who did not have a vaccination.
The COVID certificate expires nine months after the primary vaccination
According to the European Commission, the EU Digital COVID Certificate will only be valid for nine months following the last dose of the primary vaccination cycle as of 1 February 2022. Travelling Around EU with a digital COVID certificate
When the initial vaccines received within 270 days of travelling, individuals should enter another EU country with a valid vaccine certificate.
For travellers without vaccinations or recovery certificates coming from ‘dark red’ areas, member states are still allowing to require mandatory testing and a 10-day quarantine.
Additionally, ministers agreed to introduce a new weighted figure that considers the percentage of vaccinated people when drafting the traffic lightmap by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
Despite Omicron spreading rapidly across the continent, new recommendations strengthen the ’emergency brake’ in case new variants of concern appear.
Consequently, as soon as a member state puts restrictions to limit the spread of an emerging variant, the EU Council, the Commission, and the ECDC will review the situation. Leading to a coordinated approach ultimately agreed by the Council.
Some member states’ recommendations that passenger locator forms PLF should be removed have not passed. It looks like it will stay longer as a requirement for inter-European travel.