Due to the advent of COVID 19 and its quick spread across the world, travel across the world ground to an abrupt halt in 2020. As governments attempted to stop the spread of COVID 19 by shutting down borders, people were confined to their home country indefinitely.
In 2021, as vaccination and quarantine efforts seem to finally be having their desired effect, countries are beginning to relax restrictions and society is returning to some sense of normality.
To that end, the European Union has announced the implementation of the EUDCC (European Union Digital COVID Certificate) also known as the “Green digital Certificate” or “Green Pass” in order to get travel started once again. In this article, we’re going to look at some of the main points you need to know about this certificate, so without further ado, let’s get started!
*Important: This information is accurate as of time of writing, June 15th 2021. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the situation, we cannot guarantee that this information won’t change in the near future. You can verify all information in this article via the official European Commission website*
What is the EUDCC?
The EUDCC, was proposed in March 25th and started implementation as of June 1st. The concept of the pass is to resume the EU core right of freedom of movement by providing a way for citizens to prove that they are no longer likely to spread the COVID virus (either because they are vaccinated or fulfil any of the other preconditions listed below).
EUDCC document itself consists of a QR code alongside the minimum amount of information necessary to verify the holder’s identity and COVID status.
How do I get the EUDCC?
When introducing the EUDCC, representatives were very quick to emphasize that this new regulation does not mean the vaccine is necessary to travel. The system is designed to not discriminate against those who can’t or won’t get the vaccine, as this would violate the fundamental right of freedom of movement within the EU. For this reason, the EUDCC recognizes the following preconditions for being “Covid safe”
Vaccinated- This being the backbone of the EUDCC system, those who have been vaccinated with any vaccine approved by the EU will be eligible for the pass
Tested- Those who have received a negative COVID test (either NAAT or rapid antigen, not self-tests) will be eligible for the pass
Recovered– Those who previously have had COVID but recovered and can prove it with an antigen test will also be eligible.
What can I do with the EUDCC?
The EUDCC will essentially facilitate your right to travel within the European Union. While it is not a necessary requirement for travel, it will make the whole experience much simpler as you will hold the same rights as a vaccinated citizen of the country that you’re travelling to.
How much will the EUDCC cost?
In all participating countries, this certificate is free. However, if you’re planning on getting the pass through a COVID test, this may prove to be costly depending on where you reside.
Can I go to countries outside the EU with this Certificate?
While talks of including the system in the greater continental Europe (E.g. Norway, UK, Switzerland) have been successful and are expected to result in a similar system soon. For now, the system is restricted to EU countries.
I am from a country outside of the EU, can I get the EUDCC?
At moment of writing, the system is only available for nationals of EU members, however many countries who are keen on resuming international tourism (most notably Spain) are taking part in discussions with third-party countries to include them into the pass.
While this has not yet resulted in a deal, we’re hoping to see something positive soon…
How long will this system be in place?
The EUDCC system is a temporary solution to alleviate the risks of COVID and allow for some sense of normality to return without jeopardizing public safety.
That being said, it’s not looking like we’ll see a quick end to the pandemic for the near future and thus the length of validity for this system will be tied with the pandemic. Once the WHO announces the end of the public health emergency presented by COVID, thus ends the EUDCC.
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