The so-called “Covid passport ” is a certificate designed by the European Union so that EU citizens can travel freely. Thanks to the Covid passport, guarantees that any EU citizen can travel without the need for proof.
The agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on the Regulation that governs the Covid Digital Certificate of the European Union seeks to reactivate tourism this summer thanks to the mobility of European citizens. The Covid passport will be common for all citizens of the state’s members of the EU and will enter into force from next July 1. This certificate is not a document that grants extra rights regarding free movement. However, it will help the Member States not to impose additional travel restrictions on holders of a Covid passport.
What you should know about the Covid passport
As explained above, this Covid passport will start working from July 1. Next, we are going to explain the five main keys to understand what it consists of:
What does the Covid passport look like and what information does it contain
The Covid passport will be available in digital and paper format for free, depending on the beneficiary’s choice. It will contain a digitally signed QR code that will specify whether:
- You are vaccinated.
- A negative diagnostic test is provided.
- Antibodies are credited.
The green digital certificate contains personal information necessary to prove any of the above assumptions:
- Date of birth.
- Expedition date.
- Information about the person’s vaccine, negative test, or recovery from illness.
- A unique identifier.
It should be noted that said data cannot be stored by the countries that are visited. This certificate is a verification model and the health data remains in the State that issued the passport.
How to get the certificate
In order to request the certificate, it is necessary to request it from the health authorities of each country. It can be obtained in hospitals, testing centers, or outpatient clinics.
The European Commission is in charge of helping Member States develop a computer program that authorities can use to check QR codes. It will also create a portal to verify all certificate signatures across the EU.
Covid passport utility
As mentioned above, the Covid passport will be useful for European citizens to move without restrictions through the Member States. But, what about those citizens who live outside the EU?. Under those circumstances, the certificate can be obtained if it is proven that it has been vaccinated with an authorized serum in the EU.
As explained in the previous post on the immunity of the Covid vaccine, there are four vaccines currently authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA):
- Pfizer – BionTech.
PCRs will not be free, but they will be cheaper
One of the goals was for PCR, or any type of diagnostic test requested by states, to be free. But this point has not finally been approved, so all the tests that are carried out linked to the certificate will have a cost.
What has been achieved is that 100 million euros are allocated from the emergency instrument so that these tests can be more affordable and economical.
This certificate is a document designed to facilitate travel. For this reason, all EU member countries have been urged not to impose travel restrictions, such as quarantine.
However, exceptionally, restrictive measures may be imposed depending on the situation of the pandemic at all times. These limitations, which are normally quarantined upon arrival in the country being visited, must be necessary and proportionate. And also, they must be approved by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
How can I travel with a Covid passport? What if I don’t have it?
It is important to take into account, when traveling, to know how to prevent infections. As explained in a previous post, you have to maintain six basic rules :
- Use of the mask.
- Keep the safety distance of 1.5-2 meters.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Limit social relationships to a closed circle of people.
- Do outdoor activities.
- Stay home if you have been in contact with a positive or if you have symptoms.
It is necessary to know the specific restrictions of each country regarding the use of masks or gauges.
The digital passport also serves to justify test results, often required to travel between countries. So, If you are not vaccinated, you must show that you are not infected or that you have had the disease. To do this, you will need to perform a diagnostic test (PCR or antigens) or an immunological test (rapid antibody or serological).