Is Digital Covid Certificate (DCC) a must to travel in Europe?

The EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) helps citizens move freely and safely within the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic. The EU Digital COVID Certificate Regulation entered into application on 01 July 2021. EU citizens and residents will now be able to have their Digital COVID Certificates issued and verified across the EU. Vaccine passports may be a luxury that stems from privilege. But now that Ireland has started issuing the EU Digital COVID Certificate, here are a few things that you must know

What is EU digital COVID certificate?

All EU citizens who have been vaccinated,have tested negative and recovered from COVID-19 are able to prove it with a digital certificate called the EU digital COVID certificate.The certificate is issued for free by their national authorities and recognised by all EU 27 member states as well as Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

 DCC is proof that you have either:

  • Been vaccinated against COVID-19;
  • Received a negative test result; or
  • Recovered from COVID-19 in the last 6 months

The DCC is available in both digital and paper formats. The certificate has a QR code to avoid fraud.The necessary key informations in DCC  includes the following:

  • Your name
  • Your date of birth
  • The date of issue
  • Relevant information about your vaccine or test or recovery
  • A unique identifier number

Is DCC must to travel in EU?

As of today DCC is not must for all member states, but it just makes your travel easier. If you are traveling in EU the EU Digital COVID certificate to help you exercise your right to free movement, and mobile coronavirus contact tracing and warning apps.

You can get a free EU Digital COVID Certificate from the EU country where the medical event (that is, your vaccination or COVID-19 test) took place. You don’t have to be a citizen of that country.

How does DCC works across EU?

Individual member states will decide how the DCC is used as part of national public health measures. If you are travelling abroad you should check the entry requirements before you travel. The system is being used throughout the EU and also Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland.

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 as informed by citizeninformation.ie by Ireland

Who are in charge of issuing DCC?

National authorities are in charge of issuing the certificate. It could, for example, be issued by test centres or health authorities, or directly via an eHealth portal. Information on how to get the certificate are provided by the respective national health authorities. 

The certificate are introduced in EU Member States. Many member Countries are  using already and it will become available in all EU Member States as of 1 July. If a Member State is not ready to issue certificates on time, the Regulation provides for a phasing-in period of six weeks, when other formats can still be used and should be accepted in other says Reutres.

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