The European Parliament and European Council have reached an agreement to prolong the EU Digital Covid Certificate scheme until June 2023.
The framework was reportedly extended to safeguard EU citizens’ right to free movement across the bloc, in the event that a new coronavirus variant of concern emerged. Under previous legislation, the framework was due to expire on Thursday 30 June.
The two legislative bodies also agreed on an obligation for the European Commission to submit a detailed report on the matter by 31 December 2022, which could be accompanied by legislative proposals to allow for the assessment of whether to maintain or repeal the certificate in light of the then-current health situation.
The co-legislators also agreed that vaccination certificates should be adjusted to reflect all doses of a vaccine administered, regardless of the member states in which the bearer received the dose. They also agreed that it should be possible to issue a recovery certificate following an antigen test; that the range of authorised antigen tests used to qualify for a Covid certificate should be extended; and that vaccination certificates should be issuable to persons who participate in clinical trials.
The EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders said that while the EU was committed a return to restriction-free movement, and that it welcomed the decision of some member states to lift all their remaining travel restrictions, ‘today’s deal will help us continue to facilitate free and safe travel, should a rise in infections make it necessary for the Member States to temporarily reintroduce restrictions’.