EU wants to harmonise validity period of vaccination certificate

File photo. Security personnel of the Circumvesuviana, a railway metropolitan company, check the green passees of employees, conductors, and controllers of the EAV (Ente Autonomo Volturno) company at the beginning of the work shift in Naples, southern Italy, 15 October 2021. [EPA-EFE/CIRO FUSCO]

The European Commission aims to harmonise the duration of the validity of the COVID-19 vaccination certificate, including the effects of booster shots, Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said on Monday (22 November), amid record infection numbers in some EU states.

“I fully agree with the urgency, and this is why the European Commission is working with the utmost urgency to strengthen the coordination of free movement, including the length of validity and the role of boosters in the vaccination campaign,” she told European lawmakers in Strasbourg.

Austria became the first country in western Europe on Monday to reimpose lockdown since vaccines were rolled out, shutting non-essential shops, bars and cafes as surging caseloads raised the spectre of a second straight winter in deep freeze for the continent.

Kyriakides said discussions with EU member states on the COVID certificate were going on, and the bloc’s executive Commission intended to come up with proposals this week.

“We are determined to reverse the current wave…and we are also aware that we need to give clear, coherent messages to citizens,” she said.

The EU Digital COVID Certificate Regulation entered into application on 1 July 2021. The philosophy was that EU citizens and residents should be able to have their Digital COVID Certificates issued and verified across the EU.

National authorities are in charge of issuing the certificate. Member states have agreed on a common design that can be used for the electronic and paper versions to facilitate the recognition. [More]

Subscribe to our newsletters