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EU agrees on a Covid health passport to make travel easier for vaccinated Europeans

Airport passengers. File photograph.
Airport passengers. File photograph. / SUR
  • The Covid Digital Certificate will come into effect across the 27 member states from 1 July

The European Union reached an agreement this Thursday, 20 May, to introduce a health passport that will facilitate travel for Europeans who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, have antibodies or have a negative PCR test.

"White smoke: We have an agreement on the proposal for a European digital Covid certificate," the Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders announced through social networks after several hours of negotiation with the European Parliament and the 27 member states.

The document, which will be multilingual and will be issued both in digital and physical form, will be called the "EU Covid Digital Certificate" and will be applicable throughout the EU as of 1 July, sources have told Europa Press.

The agreement reached between the negotiators, which must still be validated by the 27 member states, also foresees that any restrictions that apply to travellers holding this certificate are "proportionate" and fixed depending on what is established by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

The text says that national governments should refrain from imposing additional measures on travellers with this certificate, such as respecting quarantines when arriving at their destination or carrying out a second PCR, although it is not mandatory.

However, the European Parliament did not achieve the objective that all PCR tests that are carried out linked to the certificate would be free, but it is expected that additional funds could be allocated to pay for them as that these tests must be "affordable" for Europeans.

There is already an agreement to allocate about 100 million euros of the emergency funds to support the purchase of PCR and antigen tests, but with the agreement it is contemplated that more resources can be allocated later.