The EU Gateway for COVID certificates went live in seven European countries on 1 June, a month before the deadline of 1 July.
Member states having successfully tested the EU Gateway in May can now connect to it. National authorities can begin issuing certificates on a voluntary basis.
Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said: “The timely preparation will allow the full system to be up and running by 1 July – when the proposal enters into application and the EU will be on time to open up again this summer.”
What is the EU Gateway?
The EU Gateway certifies and protects the security features contained in the QR codes of all certificates, such as the digital signature key.
This way, citizens and institutions can make sure that the certificates are authentic.
For those concerned with data protection, the certificate holder’s health information does not pass through the EU Gateway when entering another member state. Only the authenticity and validity of the certificate are verified.
Where can I use my EU Digital COVID Certificate?
European countries which have already begun issuing the first Digital COVID Certificates are Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia, and Poland.
The EU Digital COVID Certificate will become available in all EU member states on 1 July, according to the European Commission’s timeline.
After the EU Digital COVID certificate enters into application throughout the EU, there will be a six-week phase-in period during which other COVID pass formats can be used throughout the European Union, until 12 August.
How does the European COVID pass work?
The certificate will be available to citizens who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, or have recently received a negative test result, or have recovered from COVID-19.
In the case of vaccinated individuals, the European Commission states that certificates “would be limited to vaccines that have received EU-wide marketing authorization.” An updated list of authorized and pending vaccines is available on Covid Pass Certificate.
In the case of those who are protected against the disease after being infected, their immunity is considered valid for up to six months.
Vaccinated and recovered holders will be exempted from travel-related testing or quarantine.
What does the EU Digital COVID Certificate look like?
The EU Digital COVID Certificate can be issued in paper or digital format.
It contains the holder’s name and date of birth, the certificate’s date of issuance, information about the holder’s vaccine, COVID test, or recovery and a unique digital signature key.
The COVID certificate is not a substitute for a travel document. Holders must also provide a passport or identity card.