EU Green pass regulation signed, starting July 1st. How does it work

The President of the European Parliament David Sassoli, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, and the Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, have signed the regulation on the EU’s digital Covid certificate. At the same time in the United Kingdom we are moving towards the postponement of the total reopening initially scheduled for 21 June: the Delta variant, or the mutation of Covid-19 at first called Indian, is frightening. The Delta variant is currently responsible for 9 out of 10 infections in the UK, where over 29 million people have received both doses of the vaccine, or 55.4% of the population. The level of transmissibility that is attributed to it is about 60% higher than the other variants and in particular the so-called English one (Alpha), which is considered originally changed in Kent. The latest official count reports 8,125 new cases in the country in 24 hours and 17 deaths, figures that have also led the British Medical Assiciation to join the chorus of those asking for a postponement of the reopening. “If there is an increase in infections” linked to the Indian variant “we too will have to return to quarantine for those arriving from England. But we will evaluate. For now there is no reason to think about delays in reopening” in Italy, explained the president of the Council, Mario Draghi.

Compared to the last formal step, at the level of European institutions, which gives the green light to the Covid EU digital certificate, also known as the digital green pass, this is how the rules change to contribute to the economic recovery and how internal movements will be facilitated of European Union.

The EU’s digital COVID certificate facilitates the safe free movement of citizens in the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The certificate is introduced in the EU Member States. Countries can issue and use this document, which will be available in all EU Member States from 1 July 2021.

What is the EU digital COVID certificate?
An EU digital COVID certificate is digital proof that a person:

1. She was vaccinated against COVID-19 disease
2. Got a negative test result, or
3. She recovered from the disease

Main features of the certificate:
In digital and / or paper format
With QR code
In the national language and in English
Safe and secure
Valid in all EU countries

How do you get the certificate?
National authorities are responsible for issuing the certificate; for example, it is issued by testing centers, health authorities or directly via an eHealth portal.
The digital version can be saved on a mobile device. Citizens can also request a paper version. Both versions will have a QR code containing essential information and a digital signature to guarantee the authenticity of the certificate.
Member States have agreed on a common model that can be used for both electronic and paper versions in order to facilitate their recognition.

How will it contribute to free movement?
The EU digital COVID certificate will be accepted in all EU member states. It will help ensure that the restrictions currently in place can be lifted in a coordinated way.Member States should refrain from imposing further travel restrictions on holders of an EU digital COVID certificate, unless they are necessary and proportionate to protect public health.
In this case, for example in response to new variants giving rise to concern, the Member State in question has to inform the Commission and all other Member States and justify this decision.

How will the certificate work?
The EU digital COVID certificate contains a QR code with a digital signature to prevent falsification.
When checking the certificate, the QR code is scanned and the signature is verified.
Each body authorized to issue certificates (such as a hospital, test center or health authority) has its own digital signature key. All signature keys are stored in a secure database in each country.
The European Commission has created a gateway to ensure that all certificate signatures can be verified across the EU. The personal data of the certificate holder will not pass through the gateway as this is not necessary to verify the digital signature. The European Commission also helped Member States develop national software and apps for issuing, storing and verifying certificates and supported them in the tests required to join the gateway.

Will citizens who are not yet vaccinated be able to travel to another EU country?
Yup. The EU digital COVID certificate is intended to facilitate free movement within the EU. It will not be a prerequisite for free movement, which is a fundamental right in the EU.

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