After the European Commission's proposal, the European Parliament has given the green light for the extension of the Covid-19 Digital Certificate for another year. This extension will allow citizens to continue to use the certificate to travel within the European Union after the previously advanced end date indicated as June 30, 2022.
Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice, says in a statement that “since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen a constant evolution of the situation, as well as the tools used. With more than 1.8 billion certificates issued, two things are clear: the epidemiological situation can change quickly, and the COVID-EU Digital Certificate has been an essential tool to help us with these constant waves”.
Reynders further states that, “we are committed to the return to unrestricted free movement and we welcome the decision taken by some Member States to lift all travel restrictions, including the presentation of a COVID Certificate”, concluding that this agreement “will help continue to facilitate safe travel, should an increase in infections make it necessary for Member States to temporarily reintroduce restrictions.”
The European Parliament and Council also agreed to introduce some additional changes to the COVID-EU Digital Certificate system to make it even more accessible to citizens. In particular, Member States will be able to issue certificates to clinical trial participants and will recognise additional types of antigen tests.