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What will the EU COVID-19 pass look like and when will we start using it?

Last Thursday, after the fourth round of negotiations, the EU institutions reached a preliminary agreement on the introduction of digital certificates, the so-called COVID passes, enabling free travel within the EU.

This great news delighted especially those who definitely do not want to miss this summer vacation. Are you one of them? Check our article to know more about how the COVID pass will look like and when it will be possible to use it!

QR code in digital or paper form...

The free COVID certificate will take the form of a QR code shown on a smartphone or paper. Thanks to the certificate, individual EU member states will be able to see whether a passenger has a negative test for COVID-19, has been vaccinated, or has recently recovered from COVID. According to the European Parliament's official website, three different certificates should therefore be recognized in practice.

Who can use the COVID passport?

COVID certificates will be intended for all EU citizens as well as citizens of Schengen countries - Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. EU countries will also be open to vaccinated visitors from outside the EU, however, the COVID passport will not be applied in this case.

When will we start using it?

Thursday's agreement between the EU institutions should allow the European Parliament to approve COVID passes during the first June plenary session (7-10 June 2021). Subsequently, the certificate system should be tested and from 1 July, we should start using COVID passes when traveling within the Union.

Which vaccines will be recognized?

All vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will be recognized. These include Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. However, individual EU member states can decide whether to accept other vaccines, such as Russian or Chinese one.

Can we avoid quarantine thanks to a COVID pass?

Most likely yes! EU countries have agreed to refrain from imposing additional restrictions on passengers (such as testing or quarantine) once they identify themselves with a valid COVID pass, unless necessary, for example, due to the increase of new coronavirus mutations.