Seven European Countries Start Issuing COVID Certificates
Seven European countries have started issuing COVID certificates, the European Commission has announced. These documents will indicate whether a person has been vaccinated, has recently had COVID-19 or has been tested negative in the last 72 hours.
Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Poland and Greece have started issuing the certificates. The documents will be free of charge and accessible to all, the European Commission promises. It noted that the system was launched in just two months. All EU countries should start using it from July 1, but those that are fully prepared may voluntarily start issuing certificates now. The political agreement to launch the system still needs to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the European Council.
The European Commission has pointed out that the system is safe. It checks special security tags in the QR codes of all certificates to confirm their authenticity, and no personal data is transmitted in the process. 22 countries have been testing the tool since 10 May.
European authorities hope that COVID certificates will open EU borders to tourists during the summer season and remove the testing and quarantine requirements that can now be applied to visitors. Entry will be allowed if a person meets at least one of three criteria. The European Commission’s dedicated website states that vaccination certificates will be issued to those vaccinated with any COVID-19 product, but the vaccine must be among those approved by the EU in order to travel freely within the EU.
Citizens from countries outside the EU will be issued certificates upon entry, The New York Times noted. It added that the European Commission is now negotiating with the US to verify the status of US tourists.