All nationals residing within the European Union are eligible for COVID-19 digital certificate.1 Switzerland, North Macedonia, Turkey, and Ukraine are already connected to the EU’s system for digital COVID-19 certificates.2
New countries are added to the digital gateway and include Albania, Andorra, Faroe Islands, Israel, Monaco, Morocco, and Panama.3
WHY THIS MATTERS
The EU COVID-19 digital certificate proves that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result, or recovered from COVID-19. The digital certificate makes travelling safer and easier in the EU and non-EU countries that are connected to the EU digital system.
For example, the certificate could mean that one doesn’t have to quarantine or get tested upon arrival or repeatedly after arrival.
COVID-19 Digital Certificate
The COVID-19 digital certificate states that citizens are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, have tested negative for the virus, or are recovering from infection. The specifications about issuance, verification, and acceptance of the certificates are outlined in the EU Regulation.
COVID-19 digital certificates issued in the EU are recognised in all countries that are connected to the EU system and vice versa.
THE EU COVID-19 certificate demonstrates an acceptance of vaccines that are approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Some non-EU countries have approved and used vaccines that are not yet approved by EMA such as Sputnik V and Sinovac. When an individual is vaccinated with a vaccine that is not approved by EMA, it is up to each EU member state to decide if it will accept that vaccine as a sufficient proof for immunisation.
It is not yet clear how the different approval statuses of vaccines in the EU will be handled by the EU system for the COVID-19 digital certificate.
It is important for travellers to inform themselves thoroughly about all travel requirements before each trip. The EU Commission has set up a website and an app Re-open EU that contain detailed information about travel restrictions in EU member states.
1 European Commission, “EU Digital COVID Certificate” (20 September 2021).
2 See GMS Flash Alert 2021-226, 31 August 2021. Also see GMS Flash Alert 2021-237, 16 September 2021.
3 European Commission, “EU Digital COVID Certificate: Commission adopts equivalence decisions for Albania, Andorra, Faroe Islands, Israel, Monaco, Morocco and Panama” (15 September 2021).
* Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in The Netherlands.
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