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Today, the European Commission has unveiled its proposal for the creation of a green electronic certificate to facilitate safe free movement within the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The green certificate or green passport will be proof that the holder has either been vaccinated against COVID-19, has tested negative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, or has been cured of COVID-19. Certificates will be available free of charge, in digital format or on paper, and will include a QR code to guarantee their security and authenticity.
The Digital Green Certificate can serve as proof of vaccination, testing and recovery in order to waive restrictions to free movement put in place in various states.
If a Member State accepts proof of vaccination to waive restrictions to free movement, it will have to accept proof of vaccination issued by another Member State in relation to vaccines that have received EU market authorization.
Member States will have the option to extend this to travelers who receive other vaccines.
When traveling, every Digital Green Certificate holder will have the same rights as citizens of the visited Member State who have been vaccinated, tested, or recovered.
States can still continue to require holders of a digital green certificate to quarantine on arrival or get a test before arrival, but if they do so they must notify the Commission and all other Member States and provide reasons for such measures.
This means that the vaccine will not be mandatory for travel in the EU and that people will be able to travel also based on a negative result to a test or based on the proof that they have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and are now cured.
The Commission will set up a portal to ensure that all certificates can be checked throughout the EU and will support the Member States in the technical implementation of certificates.
In order to be ready before the beginning of summer, this proposal must be adopted swiftly by the European Parliament and the Council.