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Vaccine Passports et al
EU Digital COVID Certificate enters into application in the EU
Press release 1 July 2021
As of today, the EU Digital COVID Certificate Regulation enters into application. This means that EU citizens and residents will now be able to have their Digital COVID Certificates issued and verified across the EU. 21 Member States as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein had already started to issue certificates ahead of today’s deadline, and five EU countries are starting today.
The Commission’s work on the EU Digital COVID Certificates was led by Commissioner Didier Reynders in close cooperation with Vice-Presidents Vera Jourová and Margaritis Schinas and Commissioners Thierry Breton, Stella Kyriakides, and Ylva Johansson.
Welcoming the entry into application of the EU Digital COVID Certificate, President Ursula von der Leyen said: “The European Union is delivering for its citizens. The European Digital COVID Certificate is a symbol of an open and safe Europe that is opening cautiously putting the protection of the health of our citizens first. In March, we promised to have an EU-wide system to facilitate free and safe travel within the EU by the summer holidays. Now we can confirm that the EU Digital COVID Certificate system is up and running. A vast majority of EU Member States are already connected to the system and ready to issue and verify the Certificates. More than 200 million certificates have already been generated. We are helping Europeans get back the freedom they value and cherish so much.”
EU Digital COVID Certificate
The aim of the EU Digital COVID Certificate is to facilitate safe and free movement in the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic. All Europeans have the right to free movement, also without the certificate, but the certificate will facilitate travel, helping to exempt holders from restrictions such as quarantine.
The EU Digital COVID Certificate will be accessible for everyone and it:
:: covers COVID-19 vaccination, test and recovery;
:: is free of charge and available in all EU languages;
:: is available in a digital and paper-based format;
:: is secure and include a digitally signed QR code;
Under the new rules, Member States must refrain from imposing additional travel restrictions on holders of an EU Digital COVID Certificate, unless they are necessary and proportionate to safeguard public health.
In addition, the Commission committed to mobilising €100 million under the Emergency Support Instrument to support Member States in providing affordable tests…
Joint COVAX statement on the equal recognition of vaccines
GENEVA/NEW YORK/OSLO, 1 July 2021 – “COVAX was built on the principle of equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines to protect the health of people all across the globe. That means protecting their lives and livelihoods, including their ability to travel and conduct trade. As travel and other possibilities begin to open up in some parts of the world, COVAX urges all regional, national and local government authorities to recognise as fully vaccinated all people who have received COVID-19 vaccines that have been deemed safe and effective by the World Health Organization and/or the 11 Stringent Regulatory Authorities (SRAs) approved for COVID-19 vaccines, when making decisions on who is able to travel or attend events.
“Any measure that only allows people protected by a subset of WHO-approved vaccines to benefit from the re-opening of travel into and with that region would effectively create a two-tier system, further widening the global vaccine divide and exacerbating the inequities we have already seen in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. It would negatively impact the growth of economies that are already suffering the most.
“Such moves are already undermining confidence in life-saving vaccines that have already been shown to be safe and effective, affecting uptake of vaccines and potentially putting billions of people at risk. At a time when the world is trying to resume trade, commerce and travel, this is counter-effective, both in spirit and outcome.
“COVAX commends countries that have already shown commitment to equity as well as safety by accepting travelers protected by all vaccines validated by WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) and/or the 11 Stringent Regulatory Authorities (SRAs) approved for COVID-19 vaccines. We call on other nations and regions to do the same.”
Product eligibility under the COVAX Facility
Version dated: 29 December 2020
Products procured and/or supplied under the COVAX Facility must be quality assured to ensure positive impact on the population that receive them and to preserve the trust that that has been placed in the Facility. Information about these products should be available to member states to enable them to make quick decisions on their importation and/or use and facilitate their continuous monitoring and oversite.
To achieve this, the COVAX Facility should only consider:
1. products listed by WHO Emergence Use Listing (EUL) or Prequalification (PQ) or,
2. under exceptional circumstances, products approved by a Stringent Regulatory Authority (SRA), hereunder to include Australia-TGA; EU-EMA; Canada-Health Canada; Switzerland-Swissmedic; UK-MHRA and USA-FDA….[Background information follows]