The "EU COVID digital certificate" will be launched in June, if the infrastructure allows

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After several days of intense negotiations, the European Union (EU) member states reached an agreement, and the European Parliament and the EU Council approved the European Commission's proposal to draw up and implement - if possible, even from June - the green certificate. digital. Several states were reluctant, but were allowed to maintain some of their restrictions.

The "EU COVID digital certificate" will have a physical and a digital version, which will work through a QR code.

The health passport, as it has been named, will contain all the health information of the air passengers, COVID-19 vaccine certificates, certificates attesting that the holder has overcome the disease, as well as the results of PCR tests performed by the holder. EC Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders reported this via his Twitter account.

EU citizens will be able to obtain the permit if they have at least one of the three proofs. Even those with a single dose of vaccine will be able to apply for the certificate to travel to the EU, although only vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will be accepted. To date, the EMA has given the green light to vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).

The President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, will visit the Turespaña stand in Fitur to present the digital certificate, with the aim of reactivating international tourism, the relaunch of which will begin "soon". The agreement includes a provisional commitment to allocate a budget of € 100 million in EU funds and an additional € 100 million, if more resources are needed, to make testing more accessible.

EU citizens, but living outside the EU, will be able to obtain the certificate if they have received any of these four approved vaccines.

The draft regulations for this certificate also include some rules. Member States should undertake to impose travel restrictions only strictly when necessary to protect public health. If a Member State considers that such measures are necessary due to the deterioration of its epidemiological situation according to data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the national government concerned will have 48 hours to communicate. The European Commission and the other Member States its intention to impose extraordinary restrictions.

Parliament is ready to approve the agreement at its next plenary session, with a debate already scheduled for 9 June. The text will also have to go through the EU Council, where a qualified majority will be needed. The certificate would be legally binding on all EU countries and could be launched on 1 June, provided that national authorities put in place the necessary infrastructure to make everything work.

EU Digital Covid Certificate it will not be a precondition for free movement or a substitute for a real passport. It is a health information tool that will be available for one year and will facilitate and accelerate epidemiological controls at airports.

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