The European Union agrees to extend the Covid certificate by one year

Anticipation rather than haste. The European Parliament and member states agreed on Monday to extend by one year, until June 2023, the regulation on the EU’s digital Covid certificate for travel within the Union, announced the European institutions.

Many Member States have ceased to require it to enter their territory. But “European legislators want to guarantee that European citizens can move freely in the event that a new worrying variant emerges”, explains the Parliament in a press release.

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The regulation implementing this common health certificate, attesting to a vaccination against Covid-19, a negative test or an infection in the last six months, entered into force on July 1, 2021 and was to expire on July 30. June 2022. The European Commission proposed in February to extend it for one year.

An agreement that must be validated

“The epidemiological situation can change quickly, and the EU’s digital Covid certificate has been a key instrument to help us get through fluctuating situations,” explained the European Commissioner in charge of the file, Didier Reynders.

“We are determined to return to unrestricted free movement, and we welcome the decision taken by some member states to lift all travel restrictions, including the presentation of a Covid certificate,” he continued. . However, “today’s agreement will help us continue to facilitate free and safe travel, should an increase in infections force member states to temporarily reintroduce restrictions.”

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The political agreement reached on Monday evening must still be formally endorsed by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU (representing the member states), for application by June 30.

At the end of 2022, the Commission will have to publish a report on the Covid certificate, which may be accompanied by a proposal to shorten the period of application of the regulation, depending on the evolution of the epidemiological situation.

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