The European Commission announced on Wednesday in a press release that it is proposing to create a COVID-19 ‘Digital Green Certificate’ that will facilitate safe and free movement within the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Digital Green Certificate will be proof that an individual has been either vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result or recovered from the virus.
The EU Commission states that the Digital Green Certificate will be available free of charge, in a digital or paper format. It will include a QR code to ensure the security and authenticity of the certificate.
The Digital Green Certificate will be valid in all EU Member States and open for Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
The Certificate should be issued to EU citizens and their family members, regardless of their nationality. The commission also states that it should be issued to non-EU nationals who reside in the EU and to visitors who have the right to travel to other Member States.
The Commission aims to build a gateway to ensure all certificates can be verified across the EU, and will support member states in the technical implementation of certificates.
„Our key objectives are to offer an easy to use, non-discriminatory and secure tool that fully respects data protection and continue working towards international convergence with other partners,” said Věra Jourová Vice-President for Values and Transparency.
„With the Digital Green Certificate, we are taking a European approach to ensure EU citizens and their family members can travel safely and with minimum restrictions this summer. The certificate will not be a pre-condition to free movement. (…) It is also a chance to influence global standards and lead by example based on our European values,” stated Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice.
The next step is for the certificate to be ready before the summer. The proposal needs to be adopted by the European Parliament and the Council before becoming effective, as the aim is to have the technical work and the proposal completed in the coming months.
The Digital Green Certificate system is a temporary measure. It will be suspended once the World Health Organization (WHO) declares the end of the COVID-19 international health emergency.