Digital Vaccine Certificates Enhance Free Movement
The European Commission announced on May 31, 2021, an update to the Council Recommendations on the coordination of free movement restrictions in the EU, which were put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the epidemiological situation is improving and vaccination campaigns are speeding up all over the EU, the Commission is proposing that Member States gradually ease travel measures, including most importantly for the EU Digital COVID Certificate holders.
Fully vaccinated persons holding vaccination certificates in line with the EU Digital COVID Certificate should be exempted from travel-related testing or quarantine 14 days after receiving the last dose.
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, stated in a press release issued on May 31, 2021, “Freedom of movement is one of EU citizens' most cherished rights: we need coordinated and predictable approaches for our citizens that would offer clarity and avoid inconsistent requirements across Member States.
The Commission also proposed updating the common criteria for COVID-19 risk areas and introducing an ‘emergency brake' mechanism to address the prevalence of new SARS-CoV-2 virus variants of concern or interest.
Furthermore, to ensure family unity, minors traveling with parents should be exempted from quarantine when the parents do not need to undergo quarantine, for example, due to vaccination. And children under 6 should also be exempted from travel-related testing.
As of May 31st, there are sixteen COVID-19 vaccines available globally, with about 100 vaccine candidates.
The European Commission’s priorities include the European Green deal, a digital future, an economy that works for people, promoting and strengthening European democracy.