The EU has agreed that people will be able to travel across European borders from 1 July using a health passport, which will determine proof of a person's health status.
But what actually is it and how can travelers get their hands on one? When will travelers need it by? And is it obligatory? And does an EU-wide certificate actually exist?
In light of the new formal agreement between all EU countries, here's the latest on how to travel Europe this summer.
It is now called an EU Digital COVID Certificate
On May 25, the European Council's Permanent Representatives Committee gave formal approval for the use of EU Digital COVID Certificates (the new and final name for what have been called in turn, vaccination passports, health passports and digital green certificates).
What data does it hold?
As well as pertinent information such as the person's name, the EU Digital COVID Certificate will provide proof that a person has either been vaccinated against Covid-19, recovered from Covid-19 and it will hold details of negative Covid-19 test results. This information will be in the form of a QR code, which is standardised across the EU.
The EU has said that it will be safe and secure, saying that there will be no centralised database with everyone's information," as reported by The Local.
Where will EU Digital COVID Certificates be used?
The certificates will be in use when traveling across all the EU countries, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
Are EU Digital COVID Certificates legally required to travel Europe?
The quick answer is no. EU Digital COVID Certificates will not be a legal requirement for travel, with the EU quick to defend civil liberties by declaring that "it is not a precondition for exercising free movement rights and it is not a travel document." This is the reason it is called a certificate and not a passport.
It is undeniable, however, that border control is going to be much easier and quicker if everyone is using it.
Does it need to be digital?
Again, the quick answer is no. Whilst it is called the EU Digital Covid Certificate, it can be on paper too. If travelers only have a paper copy of vaccination documents or test results and don't want to, or can't upload them into their phones, they can travel with the paper versions.
Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said of the certificate: "all EU citizens have a fundamental right to free movement in the EU. The EU Digital Covid Certificate, available in paper or digital format, will make it easier for Europeans to travel – whether to see their families and loved ones or to get some well-deserved rest."
Will the application be EU-wide?
Again, this is another problem with the title, in that there will not be an EU-wide application created, as confirmed by The Local .
If a traveler wants to use an application, rather than carry the piece of paper, they should use the digital application created in the country of residence. So, if they are traveling in France, for instance, they could download the TousAntiCovid application and upload Covid-19 test results or vaccination certificates onto it to travel. In theory, anyone with a QR code could upload it into the French app when traveling in France.
What if someone is traveling from outside the EU?
As reported by The Local , Brussels has been talking to the U.K. government about travelers visiting European countries using the NHS application, onto which they can download U.K. certificates of vaccination and test results. Transport Secretary Grant Schapps reported that the NHS app is being modified to be used for the purpose of international travel.
What is less clear at present, is how Americans and other nationalities fit into this picture when most U.S. vaccination certificates, for instance, don't come with QR codes. The EU is working with the U.S. and the WHO to find a formal solution.
As reported by The Telegraph , travelers coming from countries outside the EU could also use another application that is being used globally. One such example is the International Air Transport Association's Travel Pass, which works in the same way as the EU ones. More than 20 airlines are using the IATA Travel Pass, including British Airways and Singapore Airlines and like the EU ones, it is free (IATA is funded by the airlines).
Carry a plan B
The Telegraph also recommends carrying paper documents, as a backup, in case mobile phones run out of battery and you cannot access certificates. The Local also reminds travelers that it might be wise to carry additional information for border control; vaccination certificates in France might not make sense with a British passport, for instance, when someone is traveling in Spain on holiday–take further proof of residency if it doesn't correspond to nationality.
Check other travel restrictions
Just because the EU has agreed to allow vaccinated travelers to visit and to open borders using EU Digital COVID Certificates, this does not mean that travel restrictions have been, or will be, completely relaxed across Europe this summer.
The EU Commission concluded on 25 May that "each country will decide if travelers can enter without quarantine or without additional tests" but the EU is urging that countries do not impose additional travel restrictions, as reported by The Local . In addition it stated that "member States shall refrain from imposing additional travel restrictions on the holders of an EU Digital Covid Certificate, unless they are necessary and proportionate to safeguard public health."
However, EU countries are in the process of continuously changing their own travel restrictions on a week-by-week basis and travelers must check regularly for updates; what seems fine one week, can flip with the arrival of a new variant (currently seen by the threat of quarantine for U.K. travelers into France on 26 May and the concern over the new Bordeaux variant).
The Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa said in a statement that the EU Digital COVID Certificate was the first step to a more freer, normal and safer life. He also stated, however, that "member states will need to remain vigilant with regard to the epidemiological situation, so that movement in the EU is safe, but at the same time our societies and economies can gradually recover."
And when will everyone be traveling again?
The EU Digital COVID Certificate will be in use by 1 July across all EU countries, with the expectation therefore, that travel will be permitted for non-essential reasons across Europe by this date.
After a meeting between the European Council on 28 May, the conclusions called for a "revision by mid-June of the Council Recommendation on travel within the EU" implying that an announcement would come from the EU on summer travel during the next couple of weeks, if not before.
- Pope warns EU risks future if it doesn't confront challenges
- The House Where My Husband Doesn’t Exist
- EU top court throws out citizens' climate suit
- Traveling with pets: No-deal Brexit would make it far harder
- The Latest: OECD head says digital tax effort on track
- In Thailand, You Can Ride an Elephant. But Should You?
- Europe seeks to lead a new world order on data
- 5 Takeaways From the European Elections
- Why Doesn’t Anyone Want to Live in This Perfect Place?
- Passports for purchase: Open citizenship doors around the world
- E.U. Elections 2019: How the System Works and Why It Matters
- Theresa May Offers U.K. Lawmakers a Vote on a Second Referendum
- POLITICO Playbook: A sneak peek at the next hot Trump book
- Leonovus Announces Q1 2019 Financials and Business Update
- Apple stands in the global antitrust crosshairs
- US citizen freed after mistaken immigration arrest
- How Silicon Valley gamed the world's toughest privacy rules
- The Struggles of Rejecting the Gender Binary
- Boeing’s 737 Max Suffers Setback in Flight Simulator Test
- Excessive Heat Watch for MSP
EU Travel: How To Get An EU Digital Covid Certificate (That Doesn’t Exist) have 1339 words, post on www.forbes.com at May 26, 2021. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.