The European Union’s (EU) new Digital COVID Certificate reached an important milestone on Tuesday when it was launched in the bloc’s seven-member states one month ahead of the scheme’s scheduled to start on July 1.
It went live in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia, and Poland, the European Commission said in a statement.
The certificate was proposed by the Commission to enable people to resume safe free travel this summer. The system allows the verification of certificates in a secure and privacy-friendly way.
Available in digital format or on paper, it will provide proof that its holder has been vaccinated against COVID-19, tested negative, or recovered from an infection.
The Commission said that the gateway for the certificate had already been tested successfully in 22 countries. The regulation comes into force on July 1 with a phasing-in period of six weeks for the issuance of certificates for those member states that need additional time. However, those member states that have passed the technical tests and are ready to issue and verify certificates can already start using the system on a voluntary basis.
“The EU Digital COVID Certificate shows the value-added of effective e-health solutions for our citizens,” said Stella Kyriakides, commissioner for health and food safety. “It is important that during the coming weeks, all member states fully finalize their national systems to issue, store and verify certificates, so the system is functioning in time for the holiday season.”