The EU Digital Covid-19 Certificate is being extended until June 2023, meaning Irish travelers will be required to be up to date on vaccinations depending on the country they are traveling to.
It was due to expire on June 30, but the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs voted to extend the program by a year.
The digital Covid certificate – which allows travelers to show they are fully vaccinated, have recently tested negative for Covid-19 or have recovered from an infection in the last six months – was launched in June 2021 to facilitate free movement in the EU during the coronavirus pandemic to ease the pandemic limited to 12 months.
It is no longer required for travel to Ireland and several other EU countries, but it is still required for some popular Irish holiday destinations such as Portugal.
An EU certificate based on a primary immunization such as two doses of Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or a Johnson and Johnson vaccine is only valid for 270 days.
This means that many people who received their first round of vaccinations last summer are likely to now have an outdated certificate.
You need to get a booster shot to bring it back up to speed and extend it by nine months.
Many people who have contracted Covid-19 in recent months and have tested positive by a home antigen test may still be within the three-month gap before they can receive the booster.
For 12 to 15 year olds it is six months.
If they wish to travel in the meantime, they must obtain a privately paid PCR test or a professionally administered antigen test for approval.
This also applies to people who want to travel to certain countries but have decided not to get vaccinated.
Countries are now changing the rules ahead of the summer season and current requirements are available at reopen.europa.eu or via the Department of Foreign Affairs website dfa.ie/travel.
Rapporteur Juan Fernando López Aguilar from the European Parliament committee said: “A year ago we launched the EU Covid digital certificate to ensure that unilateral national restrictions do not jeopardize the right to free movement and equality.
“We wanted to prevent discrimination between countries of origin and we wanted this regulation to be limited in time. However, we can’t get rid of it until the pandemic is over,” he added.
Since it is not over yet, the validity of the program will be extended, and experts will assess the situation in six months.
“Now people are traveling across borders in Europe again, which shows that the regulation is working.”
In addition to extending the certificate’s validity until the end of June next year, the changes also allow countries to issue test certificates based on new types of antigen tests.
MEPs stressed that member states should avoid additional restrictions on travelers with a digital Covid certificate “unless absolutely necessary”.
If additional restrictions are needed, they should be “limited and proportionate” and based on the latest scientific advice from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the EU Health Security Board.
The necessity and proportionality of the certificate will be assessed six months after its renewal, as MEPs want to drop the measure as soon as the epidemiological situation allows.
https://www.independent.ie/news/eu-digital-covid-19-cert-extended-until-june-2023-41606956.html EU Covid-19 digital certificate extended until June 2023