New EU rules on COVID certificates

March 14, 2022

The EU Council supported the extension of the action of covid certificates

The validity of the digital covid-certificate in the European Union is extended for a year-until June 30, 2023

This extension does not mean that an EU-approved vaccine is required for entry, each country has its own rules, the decision of the Council of Europe is advisory in nature.

More and more EU countries either completely cancel anti-COVID requirements (Norway, Iceland, Hungary, Romania) or allow entry upon presentation of PCR tests or antigen tests (Italy, Austria, etc.).

February 1, 2022

Green Pass validity period in the European Union is now unified

The validity of vaccination certificates in the EU countries from February 1, 2022 is 9 months. The resolution on the unification of the document officially entered into force.

On December 21, 2021, the EU Commission approved the new rules. This time they are not advisory, but mandatory, but apply only to international travel. That is, in each state, local authorities have the right to establish their own regulations for using the EUDCC (European Union Digital COVID Certificate) to visit, for example, public places.

The decision came into force on February 1, 2022 for all 27 countries participating in the bloc. From this date, holders of EUDCC digital passes and equivalent vaccination certificates issued outside the EU will be able to freely enter any territory of the European Union.

[ ! ] Despite this decision, a number of EU countries have their own internal rules for the duration of the Green Pass.

  • Denmark. Coronavirus is no longer considered socially dangerous, all restrictions have been lifted.
  • Spain. In Madrid, everything is open, you just need to wear masks. All restrictions have been lifted in Catalonia.
  • Austria. The law on compulsory vaccination has come into force, stores will no longer ask for confirmation of vaccination or the status of a recovered person.
  • Belgium. Almost everything is open, except for nightclubs.
  • Finland. The work of restaurants has been extended, public places have opened. The authorities will try to remove all restrictions in February.
  • Great Britain. In England, a health pass is no longer needed to enter establishments, and masks can be omitted. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have also eased restrictions.
  • France. Masks are not needed on the street, stadiums and similar places can be filled entirely, although a vaccine pass is needed. Most restrictions are expected to be lifted in February.
  • Netherlands. The main measures were lifted at the end of January, with restaurants, bars and museums reopening.
  • Sweden. From February 9, 2022, the authorities will lift the restrictions in force in the country due to the situation with the coronavirus.

The new rules for intra-EU travel harmonize the different rules in the member states. This validity period takes into account the recommendations of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, according to which booster doses are recommended no later than 6 months after the completion of the first vaccination cycle. The certificate will remain valid for a grace period of 3 more months beyond that 6 months to ensure that national vaccination campaigns can be adjusted and citizens will have access to booster doses.

Full text of the decision of the European Commission

[ ! ] However, if the situation so requires, additional requirements such as testing or quarantine may be introduced.

Currently, 7 countries within the block require from citizens and residents, in addition to a valid certificate, also a negative test. For others, this undermines the credibility of the EU's COVID Pass, which the European Commission refers to in a press release as a "success story."

New rules for the period for receiving vaccination certificates apply when traveling. When introducing different rules for the use of certificates at the national level, Member States are encouraged to align them with these new rules to provide reassurance for travelers and reduce the inconvenience.

[ ! ] For those who received a booster dose, no restrictions on the duration of the EUDCC have yet been introduced, since there is still not enough data on the protection period.

The Commission also adapted the rules for coding vaccination certificates. This is to ensure that vaccination certificates indicating completion of the primary batch can always be distinguished from vaccination certificates issued after the booster dose.

The boosters will be written as follows:

  • 3/3 for booster dose after a series of primary 2 doses of vaccination
  • 2/1 for revaccination after a single vaccination or one dose of a two-dose vaccine given to a recovered person

To facilitate safe free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Parliament and Council adopted the Regulation on the EU Digital Certificate for COVID on June 14, 2021

Council Recommendations on a Coordinated Approach to Facilitate Safe Free Movement During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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More information:

Commission Delegated Regulation on the validity of vaccination certificates issued under the EU Digital COVID Certificate framework
Commission Decision amending Implementing Decision (EU) 2021/1073 laying down technical specifications and rules for the implementation of the trust framework for the EU Digital COVID Certificate
Factsheet on the new Commission proposal to ensure coordination on safe travel in the EU
Factsheet COVID-19: Travel and health measures in the EU
Re-open EU (Re-open EU is also available as a Mobile App – Google Play, App Store)

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