EU-wide digital Covid certificate includes Latvia

Take note – story published 2 years and 11 months ago

The European Union's Digital COVID Certificate is officially introduced July 1, with the intention of facilitating the safe free movement of citizens within the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The EU Digital COVID Certificate will be accepted in all EU Member States. It will help to ensure that restrictions currently in place can be lifted in a coordinated manner. From July 1 until August 12 is designated a "Phase-in period": if a Member State is not yet ready to issue the new certificate to its citizens, other formats can still be used and should be accepted in other Member States.




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When travelling, the EU Digital COVID Certificate holder should in principle be exempted from free movement restrictions: Member States should refrain from imposing additional travel restrictions on the holders of an EU Digital COVID Certificate, unless they are necessary and proportionate to safeguard public health. 

In such a case – for instance as a reaction to new variants of concern – that Member State would have to notify the Commission and all other Member States and justify this decision.

The Latvian Covid-19 certificate site is:

More information about the EU Certificate and its uses is available at this EU website

Another useful resource if you are planning a trip is the Re-open EU website which outlines specific requirements in each EU member state. The information is updated frequently and available in 24 languages. This should help you plan your travel in Europe, while staying safe and healthy.

We have also attached a downloadable factsheet in PDF form to this story.

LTV reported July 1 that there are concerns that border guards may not be able to recognize Covid-19 digital certificates issued by other Member States.

Trade body Airports Council International Europe has forecast that the number of air passengers in Europe will triple from 47 million in May to 125 million in August.

Several organizations in the aviation industry warned in a joint statement this week that the EU's digital Covid-19 certificate might not make travel easier but more difficult. The statement said that the lack of double-checking and certificate verification tools would lead to long queues at airports.

Rafael Schwarzmann, vice-president of the International Division of the International Air Transport Association, said that since the start of the pandemic, the average time passengers spent at the airport before a flight has increased from about an hour and a half to three hours. He warned that if the situation did not change, this time could increase to five or even eight hours as more flyers were added.

In addition, EU plans for free and unhindered movement between bloc members could be undermined by the spread of the highly contagious Covid-19 Delta variant.

Though the Brussels guidelines state that member States should refrain from imposing additional travel restrictions on holders of an EU digital Covid-19 certificate, unless such restrictions are necessary and proportionate to protect public health, this clause has already been used by Germany, where a ban on entry from Portugal came into force this week, due to Delta variant fears.

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