1. What is the digital certificate?
It is a free document, which can be issued in paper or digital format, with a QR code for those who have a smartphone, which will allow certifying that a person has been vaccinated against covid-19, has a test PCR negative he is not recovered of the coronavirus. The idea including this range of possibilities is to avoid discrimination against people who have not been vaccinated. The certificate will be in English and in the national language of each Member State and will be valid in the 27 EU countries.
2. What will it be for and who can get it?
It will be a kind of travel document designed to facilitate travel within the European Union. Anyone who wants to travel to another Member State and their family members as well as non-EU residents may request it. The idea is to remove restrictions on free movement in a coordinated manner in all Member States.
3. What information should you include?
It will include the first and last name, the date of birth and the date of vaccination. If the person has not been vaccinated and has taken a test, they must include the type of test, the date and time it was done, the center where the test was performed and the result. In the event that the document is used to certify that a person has recovered from the disease, it must include the date on which they tested positive for covid19, who issued the certificate, the date of that certificate and the period of validity.
4. What vaccines will be accepted?
Member States may issue vaccination certificates regardless of the type of anticovid vaccine administered, but all those that have received the vaccine will have to be accepted. Marketing authorization from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which currently meets four vaccines: BioNTEch / Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and J&J. Member states are free, however, to include others like Russia’s Sputnik V that are already administered in countries like Hungary.
5. Will all types of tests be valid?
To ensure the reliability of test results, only test results will be accepted. test RT-PCR as well as the results of the test list of antigens validated by the EU. Since self-tests are considered less reliable for now, they will not be supported.
6. What about personal data?
The certificate will include a limited number of information and cannot be stored by the country being visited. For verification purposes, only the validity and authenticity of the certificate will be checked. All personal data will be kept in the Member State that issued the digital certificate.
7. Who will issue the certificate?
The national authorities will be responsible for issuing it and defraying the cost of establishing the necessary national infrastructure, although the European Commission may provide funding for this and also to pay for the software development necessary.
8. What will be the period of validity?
There will be no specific period. Since it depends on scientific evidence, it will be determined by the verifiers, according to national rules. The regulation guarantees, however, that documents issued by other Member States will be accepted following the same rules that apply to national certificates. The standard introduces some basic principles. For example, set a maximum validity period of 180 days for those who use it as a Covid recovery certificate.
9. Will it be a permanent instrument?
The certificate will be temporary or provisional and is linked to the duration of the covid-19 crisis. This means that it will be suspended the moment the World Health Organization (WHO) declare the end of the health emergency and the pandemic. If the WHO declares a new health emergency due to a variant of the coronavirus, the certificate could be reactivated.
10. Will it help travel to third countries?
Non-essential travel to the EU from third countries is currently restricted, except for a limited number of countries. Third-country nationals who want to travel to the EU may request the certificate by providing the necessary information to the Member State in which they submit the application.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.