The key objective of the EU Digital COVID Certificate is to facilitate free movement inside the European Union by allowing those who hold one to be exempt from quarantine or testing requirements when crossing a border into a participating country.
The EU Digital Covid Certificate officially launched on 01 July 2021 and will remain valid until Jun 2022. The certificate can be used in all 27 member nations and a few others, such as Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland.
Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland and Spain have already started issuing the first passports.
Who is eligible?
The EU Digital COVID Certificate may be issued to all EU citizens and their family members and non-EU nationals legally living in a Member State and who have the right to travel to the other Member States.
Citizens and residents in the EU can apply for digital COVID-19 certificates through their national authorities, through eHealth portals or testing centres. The certificate provides evidence that a person has either been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result, or recovered from COVID-19. Anyone who has already been vaccinated will need to request the new EU Digital COVID Certificate retrospectively.
- The certificates will share a common design across all EU member states
- Available in paper or digital format, which can be stored on a mobile device
- Uses a QR code for sharing essential information
- QR codes include a digital signature to authenticate the certificate
- Free of charge
- In national language and English
- Valid in all EU countries.
How does it work?
When crossing a border, the authorities scan the QR code on the certificate. Its digital signature is verified, authenticating the certificate. Each organization that issues the certificate has its own digital signature key, and these are stored in a secure database in each country. Using a gateway created by the European Commission, certificate signatures can be verified across the EU.
How secure is my data?
The certificate contains certain key information, including name, date of birth, date certificate was issued, relevant information about vaccination, test certificate and recovery certificate, and a unique identifier.
This information remains on the certificate and is not stored or retained whenever a Member State verifies the certificate.