The European Union has rubber-stamped its proposal for digital Covid certification in the bloc.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the EU is “delivering” when she made the announcement earlier today, 36 years to the day the Schengen open borders agreement was signed.
It comes into force on July 1, for an initial 12 months and certify the EU citizen’s Covid status, whether they are vaccinated or not, how they have tested, or if they have immunity from a previous infection.
The certificate will exempt EU citizens from stricter Covid restrictions when travelling between member states.
Millions have already reportedly signed up to have the certification since it was first announced on June 1. So far, 13 EU member states have begun issuing certificates to applicants.
Announcing the proposals, von der Leyen said the Schengen agreement was “the beginning” of free movement within the EU, which she described as “one of the biggest achievements of Europe” and delivered in “record time”.
She added: “Today, the European Digital Covid Certificate reassures us of this spirit of an open Europe, a Europe without barriers, but also a Europe that is slowly but surely opening up after a most difficult time – the pandemic.
“This certificate is a symbol of an open and digital Europe.”
Von der Leyen said the certificate was evidence “the European Union is showing its leadership in the digital age”.
She predicted that by the middle of this week, “at least 15 member states will be connected”.
Von der Leyen added: “Thanks to the success of the European Vaccination Strategy and thanks to the success of this work on the EU Digital Covid Certificate, we can look forward towards a good summer.
“We can look forward towards travelling safely. And we will bring back the spirit of an open Europe. Our Union is delivering.”