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EU reaches agreement on COVID certificate for summer travel

DUBLIN: After months of negotiations, the European Parliament and EU member states have finally reached an agreement on the Digital COVID Certificate, which will allow summer travel across the European Union.

The European Commission proposed the digital certificate several months ago, and EU member states have been negotiating it ever since. The certificate, which will be available in paper or digital form, will allow people to travel across the EU from the end of June.

The Digital COVID Certificate, also known as the Digital Green Pass, will reflect national COVID certificates developed by each member state and will include details such as whether or not an individual has been vaccinated, has a negative COVID-19 test, or has recovered from the virus.

The European Parliament said in a statement, “The certificate will be available in either digital or paper format. It will attest that a person has been vaccinated against coronavirus or has a recent negative test result or has recovered from the infection.

“In practice, these will be three distinct certificates. A common EU framework will allow member states to issue certificates that will then be accepted in other EU countries.” The parliament added that the certificate would not be considered as a travel document.

The European Commission guarantees that the certificate is free, secure and accessible to all. It will respect the fundamental rights of citizens and also protect all their personal data, the commission added.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that European citizens want to travel again, and this agreement proves that they can do so very soon and safely.

Meanwhile, the European Parliament has instructed member states not to introduce new travel restrictions, such as quarantine, self-isolation, or testing, unless they are necessary to protect public health.

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