The digital green certificate in the EU - everything you need to know about it

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Today, March 11th, The European Commission has proposed the creation of a green electronic certificate to facilitate safe, free movement within the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The green electronic certificate will be proof that the holder has been vaccinated against COVID-19, has received a negative test for SARS-CoV-2 infection or has been cured of COVID-19. Certificates will be available free of charge, in digital format or on paper, and will include a QR code to guarantee their security and authenticity.

The Commission will set up a portal to ensure that all certificates can be checked throughout the EU and will support Member States in the technical implementation of certificates. It is still up to the Member States to decide what public health restrictions can be removed for passengers, but they will have to apply these exemptions in the same way to passengers holding a green electronic certificate.

The key elements of the regulation proposed by the Commission today are the following:

The digital green certificate facilitates free movement

Affordable and secure certificates for all EU citizens!
✅ The green electronic certificate will cover three types of certificates - vaccination certificates, testing certificates for SARS-CoV-2 (by RT-PCR tests or rapid antigenic tests) and certificates for people who have been cured of COVID-19.

Certificates will be issued in digital format or on paper. Both will have a QR code that will contain essential essential information, as well as a digital signature attesting to the authenticity of the certificate.

🌐 The Commission will set up a portal and support Member States in developing software that authorities can use to verify all signatures on certificates across the EU. The personal data of the holders of certificates are not transmitted to the portal and are not kept by the Member State carrying out the verification.

Certificates will be available free of charge, in the official language or languages ​​of the issuing Member State, as well as in English.

The digital green certificate in practice


All citizens - whether or not they have been vaccinated - should receive a green electronic certificate when traveling in the EU. In order to prevent discrimination against people who are not vaccinated, the Commission proposes to create not only an interoperable vaccination certificate, but also test certificates for COVID-19 and certificates for people who have been cured of COVID-19.

The same right for travelers with a green electronic certificate - if they accept proof of vaccination to waive certain public health restrictions such as testing or quarantine, Member States should accept, under the same conditions, the vaccination certificates issued. within the system of green electronic certificates.

This obligation would be limited to vaccines that have received an authorization to place on the EU market, but Member States may decide to accept other vaccines.

Notification of other measures - if a Member State continues to require holders of a green electronic certificate to be quarantined or to undergo a test, that Member State must notify the Commission and all other Member States and argue its decision to take such measures.

Only essential information and personal data secured!

Certificates will include a limited set of information such as name, date of birth, date of issue, relevant vaccine / test / cure information and a unique certificate identifier. This data can only be verified to confirm and verify the authenticity and validity of the certificates.

Green electronic certificates will be valid in all EU Member States, and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland will be able to use them. Green electronic certificates should be issued to EU citizens and their family members, regardless of their nationality. These certificates should also be issued to third-country nationals residing in the EU and visitors who have the right to travel to other Member States. The system of green electronic certificates is a temporary measure.

This measure will be suspended as soon as the World Health Organization (WHO) declares an end to the international health emergency caused by COVID-19.

Next steps:

In order to be ready before the beginning of summer, this proposal must be adopted swiftly by the European Parliament and the Council.

In parallel, Member States need to implement the trusted framework and technical standards, agreed in the eHealth network, to ensure the timely implementation of green electronic certificates, their interoperability and full respect for the protection of personal data. . The aim is for the technical work and the proposal to be completed in the coming months.

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