14:16 27.04.2021

Introduction to EU of Digital Certificate for travel amid COVID-19 pandemic not to affect functioning of visa-free travel

3 min read
Introduction to EU of Digital Certificate for travel amid COVID-19 pandemic not to affect functioning of visa-free travel

The European Commission explains that the introduction in the countries of the European Union of the so-called Digital Green Certificate for free movement in the EU countries amid coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will not affect the functioning of the visa-free travel, in particular, with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.

In addition, if these countries introduce certificates in accordance with the standards of the Digital Green Certificate, the Commission will be able to issue an "adequacy decision," as well as the member countries can independently determine which vaccines may be acceptable for the Digital Green Certificate.

Thus, on Tuesday, at the request of Interfax-Ukraine, the European Commission explained to the European Commission the development of events around the Digital Green Certificate and the visa-free travel for Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.

"We are closely following the progress of vaccination outside the EU, and seek to restore travel once the epidemiological situation allows it and it is safe to do so. Essential travel from a non-EU country to the EU is permitted subject to conditions of testing and quarantine in line with the Council Recommendation, while non-essential travel is currently restricted from most countries outside the EU," the commission said.

The European Commission said that a proposal is currently being prepared to amend the recommendation on the external travel restriction in order "to take into account the recent developments." Discussions are ongoing with Member States to prepare the proposal.

In addition, the European Commission recalled the already well-known position, according to the commission's proposal for the Digital Green Certificates, a non-EU national who may travel to the EU can obtain a Digital Green Certificate.

"The non-EU national could request a Digital Green Certificate from a Member State he/she is travelling to, by providing all necessary information, including reliable proof of vaccination. The Member State would then have to assess if reliable proof has been provided and decide whether to issue a Digital Green Certificate," the commission said.

The European Commission also said that in the medium term, where the commission is satisfied that a third country issues certificates in compliance with international standards and systems which are interoperable with the EU system, the Commission can issue an "adequacy decision."

"Then, such third country certificates would be accepted under the same conditions as Digital Green Certificates. In both cases, the rules for acceptance of proof of vaccination would be the same as for EU nationals: vaccines that have received EU-wide marketing authorization have to be accepted, but Member States can decide to accept other vaccines in addition," the European Commission said.

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