European COVID-19 passport will be open to international travelers – including UK and US
The European Commission has announced that the EU’s COVID-19 digital passport could also be issued to non-European travelers, including those from the United States and the United Kingdom.
Non-EU countries will be subject to acceptance by individual member states of the validity of the passport, including proof of vaccination, proof of a negative test result or proof of recovery from COVID-19 , reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.
“Right now, if you are American and do not live in the EU, you can get the certificate if you ask the national authorities of a member state to give you this certificate on the basis of proof that you have been vaccinated or that you have had a recent Covid test ”, said a spokesperson for the European Commission.
However, he stressed that such a decision is up to each Member State.
It was also revealed that the European Commission is in talks with the United States regarding a U.S. COVID-19 passport, which could be accepted as an equivalent document by EU states.
On Tuesday, the European Commission announced that seven countries, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia and Poland, had started issuing the first European COVID-19 passports to allow safe travel. security within the block. On the other hand, several other countries have decided to launch the passport only when all functions are used nationally.
Likewise, Estonia has also become one of the first countries to start issuing the passport to allow the free movement of its citizens who wish to travel within the EU / Schengen area.
According to the Commission, more countries are expected to join the system in the coming weeks, as it was revealed that 22 countries have successfully tested the gateway since May 10.
Member States are required to recognize certificates issued in other block states as long as the holder has taken a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency.
The EU Parliament and Council have already reached an interim agreement to establish the EU’s COVID-19 digital passport while ensuring that the passport will be ready for use by the end of June.
Nonetheless, the COVID-19 passport will not become a prerequisite for travel or considered a travel document.
According to the Commission, each country will be responsible for issuing its passport, which will have to determine whether:
- The holder has been vaccinated against COVID-19
- The holder recovered from the virus
- The incumbent recently tested negative for COVID-19
There will be a separate certificate for each category mentioned above, containing a QR code to verify their validity and verify their authenticity.
“It will be free, secure and accessible to everyone. Available digitally or in print, this will be proof that a person has been vaccinated against Covid-19, tested negative or recovered from an infection. The statement by the European Commission reads.
The deal reached by member states on the EU’s COVID-19 digital passport has also been welcomed by the World Travel and Tourism Council.