After months of negotiations, the European Health Certificate came into force on Thursday to facilitate travel and boost tourism within the EU this summer.
This free health pass is officially called the “European COVID Digital Certificate”. The EU executive says it should be recognized in 27 EU countries, as well as Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway.
This “European certificate certifies that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, that he has passed a negative test, or that he has been immunized after contracting the disease.
It is the countries of destination that decide whether to accept rapid antigenic tests other than PCR.
27 recommends that both be accepted and that the period of their validity be set at a maximum of 180 days, but states may decide to reduce this. Serological tests to prove immunity are not yet considered reliable.
Union countries are required to vaccinate travelers in their region with four sera authorized at EU level by the European Medicines Agency (EMA): Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
On the other hand, member states may accept people vaccinated with authorized serum in some EU countries (Russian Sputnik) or with WHO-approved products (such as Chinese Sinopharm, but Kovishield is widely used in Africa). Huh.
Note that the certificate includes a QR code and a digital signature that certifies its authenticity, which can be read by all EU countries. It can be presented to the authorities responsible for controlling it in digital form on a smartphone, or printed on paper.
The certificate must contain only “strictly required” personal data, as stipulated in the official text, which is not exchanged between countries, with the exception of the key to verify the authenticity of the certificate .