Europe’s Digital COVID Certificate Extends to Summer of 2023
The European Commission (EC) announced a proposal on February 4, 2022, to extend the EU Digital COVID Certificate until June 30, 2023.
Currently, Member States must accept vaccination certificates for a period of nine months following the administration of the last dose of the primary vaccination.
‘The COVID-19 virus continues to be prevalent in Europe, and at this stage, it is not possible to determine the impact of a potential increase in infections in the second half of 2022 or of the emergence of new variants,’ stated the EC.
And by ‘extending the Regulation, travelers can continue using their EU Digital COVID Certificate when traveling in the EU where the Member States maintain specific public health measures.’
In addition to the proposed extension, the Commission also proposes some limited amendments:
- To include high-quality laboratory-based antigen tests among the types of tests for which a test certificate can be issued. This aims to widen the scope of the types of diagnostic tests at a time where COVID-19 tests are in high demand.
- To ensure that vaccination certificates contain the correct overall number of doses administered in any Member State and not just in the Member State issuing the certificate. This is to address practical concerns raised by citizens about certificates indicating an incorrect number of doses when they receive vaccine doses in different Member States.
- To provide that certificates may be issued to persons participating in clinical trials for vaccines against COVID-19. The EU Digital COVID Certificate issued to trial participants may then be accepted by the other Member States. This measure aims to encourage the continued development and study of vaccines against COVID-19.
The domestic use of EU Digital COVID Certificates remains a matter for each Member State to decide.
The EU legislation on the EU Digital COVID Certificate neither prescribes nor prohibits the domestic use of the EU Digital COVID Certificate, such as lifestyle choices and access to restaurants.
At the same time, where a Member State establishes a system of COVID-19 certificate for domestic purposes, it should continue to ensure that the EU Digital COVID Certificate is also fully accepted for those purposes.
Beyond that, the Commission also encourages Member States to align their domestic validity periods with the validity period set at the EU level for the purpose of travel.
To ensure that the extension is adopted before July 2022, the Commission calls on the European Parliament and the Council to adopt the proposal swiftly.
Furthermore, the Commission will also publish a second report on the EU Digital COVID Certificate Regulation in March 2022, as provided for in that regulation.
Separately, a current list of each EU country’s vaccination certificates’ validity and other rules regarding booster shots is published on this webpage.
Travel vaccination information is posted on this Vax-Before-Travel webpage.
Vax-Before-Travel publishes fact-checked research-based travel vaccine news.