These sixteen countries are now using the EU COVID Travel Pass (EUDCC)

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Sixteen countries have started using the EU’s “digital COVID certificate” (EUDCC) to allow their citizens to move easily across the block.

the The European Commission says fifteen Member States – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal and Spain – connected to the gateway and started issuing the first certificates.

They are joined by Iceland, which is the first of the four countries of the European Economic Area to join the program.

Formerly called the EU Digital Green Certificate, more are expected to follow when its features roll out continent-wide by July 1.

The certificate is available in digital or paper form and is free. The gateway provides access to the QR codes of all certificates.

The EU’s plan is to put in place a one-stop system to facilitate safe travel by verifying the pass holder’s coronavirus status – whether through vaccination, a recent negative test result or proof of recovery of the virus.

More than 20 countries have successfully tested the system over the past month, according to the European Commission. The launch follows an agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on Regulation.

The certificate was officially enshrined in EU law in a record 62 days on June 14 after a significant majority vote by the European Parliament.

Alberto Alemanno, professor of EU legal policy at HEC Paris, told Euronews the system would test cooperation between EU countries as many have sought to enforce their own traffic rules amid of the pandemic.

“We have to remember that the requirements to get this certificate will change from country to country. It’s up to each country to determine who gets vaccinated, who gets tested… who is going to be declared immune “, he says.

“Each country reserves the right to deny the COVID certificate as such. This could actually be the source of a lot of confusion and unpredictability.”

The European Commission is aiming for 70% of the bloc’s 450 million people to have received at least one dose of the vaccine by the end of July.

Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen revealed last month that the EU was on track to meet the target with more than 250 million doses administered so far. More than 80 million Europeans have already been fully vaccinated.

Brussels has also previously indicated that fully vaccinated people from countries outside the EU should be able to visit without a quarantine requirement – provided they have received EU-approved injections.

The European watchdog has approved the use of four vaccines: Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca/Oxford University, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

According to Our World In Data, over 38% of the EU population has received at least one dose of vaccines, compared to 50.3% in the US, 57.7% in Canada, 58.1% in the UK United and 63%% in Israel.


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