Health

EU bodies reach deal to implement Covid certificate starting July 1

Brussels, May 21 (EFE).- EU Parliament and Council negotiators reached a deal Thursday evening over the rollout of a digital Covid certificate starting July 1.

Member states have agreed to waive travel restrictions for certificate holders, including mandatory quarantines, “unless they are necessary and proportionate to safeguard public health.”

The European Council insisted throughout negotiations on maintaining border sovereignty unscathed and reserving the right for individual member states to draw up their own entry requirements such as quarantines and PCR tests.

However, member states will be expected to avoid such demands for travelers holding an EU Covid certificate.

According to the Parliament’s lead negotiator Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D), any restrictions will have to be notified to the Commission 48 hours in advance, along with a report on their purpose, reach, duration and whether certificate holders will be affected.

The certificate will be operative for 12 months across the EU to prove vaccination with any jabs approved by the European Medicines Agency, currently Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

It will also certify non-authorized vaccines, which member states are free to accept or turn down.

European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders asked member states to refrain from obstructing free movement of people across the EU as much as possible once the certificate comes into force.

The agreement still needs final approval by both Council and Parliament. The latter will vote in the coming plenary week starting June 7.

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