Find out how the new EU Digital Covid Certificate will allow you to travel safely and easily in Europe during the pandemic.
How does the EU Digital Covid Certificate work?
The certificate will make it easier for you to travel safely through the EU by showing that you have been vaccinated, had a negative test result or recovered from Covid-19 in the last six months.
It will be issued by national authorities, for example by hospitals, test centres or health authorities.
This information will take the form of a QR code, which can be electronic (on your smartphone or tablet, for instance) or printed and scanned when travelling.
The certificate should be available from 1 July and will be free.
The system will be in place for 12 months and cover all 27 EU countries as well as Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein.
Can I use it to travel?
No, you will still need your passport or another form of identification.
You don’t have to have the certificate to travel – national requirements would then remain in place – but having it should make travelling easier. For example, it could mean you don’t have to quarantine.
However, if exceptional circumstances arise in an EU country, such as the sudden appearance and spread of a new variant, new restrictions may have to be put in place: these will be notified via the Re-Open EU portal.
Which vaccines are recognised under the certificate?
What is included under the EU Digital Covid Certificate?
The tests recognised under the certificate include Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) tests such as RT-PCR tests and rapid antigen tests.
Antibody testing is not recognised, though this may change after the system is launched.
Tests will lead to two possible certificates:
- Test certificate: indicates the holder’s result, type and date of a NAAT test or a rapid antigen test
- Recovery certificate: confirms that the holder has recovered from a SARS-CoV-2 infection following a positive NAAT test
Tests will also become more affordable. The European Commission will use at least €100 million under the Emergency Support Instrument to purchase the Covid tests needed for the test certificate.
Protecting your personal data
The app used for the certificate will respect the EU’s data protection rules and only contain data that is strictly necessary to ensure safe travel.The personal data included in the certificates will be processed by the competent authorities of the country of destination, transit, or by passenger transport operators, but only to confirm and verify the holder’s vaccination, testing or recovery status.
The information will be retained only for the period of travel and will not be stored once the system is no longer in place.
MEPs will vote on the proposal during the plenary session taking place from 7 to 10 June.
More on EU measures to address the coronavirus pandemic:
- Coronavirus: a timeline of EU action in 2021
- Coronavirus: practical advice for safe travel
- Covid-19: 10 things the EU is doing for economic recovery
Find out more