The legislative procedure for the European Union COVID-19 vaccine passports for travel came to a close today, June 14, when the leaders of the three main EU institutions – Parliament, Council, and Commission – signed the Regulation in an official signing ceremony.
During the ceremony, Presidents David Sassoli and Ursula von der Leyen, as well as the current President of the Council, António Costa of Portugal, expressed their support for the treaty, calling it “a symbol of what Europe stands for.”
In mid-March of this year, the EU Commission proposed the creation of a document that would allow the bloc’s freedom of movement to be restored.
The Regulation was finally passed after going through the EU procedures, and 13 member states have already connected to the EU gateway and begun issuing COVID-19 passports to their residents.
The Regulation will take effect on July 1 after the official signature, and the Member States must begin issuing the first certificates within six weeks if they have not done so already.
On the first day of this month, June 1, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia, and Poland began issuing the first passports. In the days that followed, six more countries — Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, and Spain – issued the first passports to their residents.
Except for Hungary and Finland, which are still in the testing phase, the remainder of the EU and Schengen Area nations are technically ready to connect to the EUDCC gateway.
Travelers who have been vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency, those who have recently recovered from COVID-19, and those who test negative for COVID-19 are all eligible for the certificate.
As per the Regulation, Member States are urged against placing any additional travel restrictions on persons who possess such a document, unless such measures are absolutely necessary to protect public health.
The Regulation will be in place until June 30, 2022.