Gateway to travel across 27 member states
THE European Union’s digital covid certificate will be in force from July 1 allowing holders to travel between countries making up the 27-member bloc.
The so-called ‘coronavirus passport’ is a standardised document to be used as proof of vaccination or PCR test results and will be introduced unless the Covid-19 pandemic suddenly changes for the worst.
Available in paper or digital formats, it proves the holder has been vaccinated against the disease, has had a negative PCR or antigen test, or has recently recovered from the disease and has a period of immunity.
The certificate should be available to all Spanish residents regardless of nationality; this is likely to include UK nationals who should not be affected by Britain leaving the EU after Brexit.
And member states are also considering the use of the ‘passport’ for social gatherings – Austria wants it for access to hotels, restaurants, and cultural activities.
Spain is likely to issue the certificate via the autonomous regions, already in charge of the vaccination programme across the country. This week a pilot programme started, coinciding with the opening of Spanish borders to global visitors who have been vaccinated.
The EU is likely to accept all vaccines authorised by the European Medicines Agency, currently these are: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Janssen.