The EU covid digital certificate, also known as a health passport, is a free and universal “travel tool” that seeks to facilitate mobility within the European Union (EU).
What is the digital green certificate?
The digital green certificate is “a mechanism or instrument for travel” free, universal, safe and reliable, as explained by the Spanish Government, which will be synthesized in a QR code.
It will contain information on whether the person interested in traveling has received the complete schedule of any vaccine against covid-19, if they are immunized because they have been infected in the past or if they have a recent negative test, either PCR or antigens.
When will it come into effect?
This certificate, approved on Thursday by the European Union, after about three months of work, will begin to be applied on July 1 throughout the community, although work is already underway to extend it to other countries.
In the case of Spain, according to the Spanish Government, “the implementation work is well advanced, both for issuing certificates to Spanish citizens and for accepting certificates from other European citizens.”
How valid will it be?
At the moment, the certificate will work for the next twelve months, until July 1, 2022.
Where is it binding?
It will be binding in the twenty-seven Member States of the European Union, although the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, has assured that they are already working to be able to extend it to third countries.
Who will issue it?
In the case of Spain, the certificate will be issued by the Ministry of Health or by the Autonomous Communities, as detailed by the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias.
Do you collect all the vaccines?
The document will collect when, where and how many doses the traveler has received and will be binding for vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which for now has validated the drugs from Pfizer-BionTech, Moderna, Astrazeneca and Jannsen.
However, the certificate will also contain information on whether the traveler has received any other vaccine approved by a Member State but not by the EMA, as is the case in Hungary with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine and the Chinese Sinopharm, although it will be the responsibility of each member country to decide whether it considers them valid or not.
And in the case of the unvaccinated?
The document will also include the negative result of the PCR or antigen tests (depending on the requirements of the country to which you are going to travel) that unvaccinated travelers have taken.
Evidence that Brussels is willing to finance with “an additional € 100 million”, with priority for people who regularly cross borders for work, health or educational reasons, among others.
In the case of people who have passed the virus in the previous six months, the certificate will state that they are immunized.
Can countries impose quarantine with the certificate?
With the promotion of this certificate at the European level, the Twenty-seven will try to avoid requiring additional quarantines or PCR to travelers who enter their territories, but it does not exclude imposing them in case the epidemiological situation requires it and whenever they are “necessary and proportionate” , according to the EU.
Does the process change if I want to travel to Spain?
In the case of Spain, travelers arriving in the Spanish State had to fill out a paper or electronic form that generated a code that had to be validated at the access control at the airport and that could involve new tests or even quarantine.
With this new health passport, you get a QR code with a form that makes the process faster and easier.
Can I continue traveling without the digital green certificate?
In the case of Spain, tourists from the European Union may travel if they do not have the digital green certificate, but the process will be as before, with the form and control at the airport.