Digital COVID Certificate: EU-wide travel pass officially comes into force

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 The new EU-wide travel pass, designed to facilitate movement across the bloc amid the coronavirus pandemic, officially comes into force on Thursday July 1.

Its aim is to enable people to travel more freely for work and travel throughout member states by reducing paperwork and doing away with quarantine.

But the launch comes under the cloud of the Delta variant and EU countries, still divided over travel policy, are enforcing their own policies. The airline industry has warned of chaos at airports in the summer unless there is better coordination.

The document — available in either digital or paper form — will include information about vaccination, tests and recovery from the disease. EU citizens will be able to obtain the pass if they have, at least, one of the three elements. Both PCR tests and antigen tests will be admitted.

The “EU Digital COVID certificate (EUDCC)“, as it is officially known, is free and should be recognised by all 27 EU countries as well as Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway.

The EU is in talks with several other countries, such as the United Kingdom and the United States, over mutual recognition and operation of COVID-related documents.

According to the European Commission, all member states should be in a position on Thursday to issue and accept the pass — apart from Ireland, which could be late in doing so because of cyberattacks.

Photo: EU Audiovisual Service

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