Why more top destinations in Italy need to limit tourist numbers

Clean the phone and think about getting rid of that Covid app? Wait a minute.

The European Union has decided to extend the use of EU Covid certificates by one year, until June 30, 2023.

The European Commission first made the proposal in February as the virus, and the Omicron variant in particular, continued to spread in Europe. At this stage, it was “not possible to determine the impact of a possible increase in infections in the second half of 2022 or the emergence of new variants”, the Commission said.

Now, tourism is picking up again, while Covid cases are increasing in several European countries.

The EU has therefore taken steps to ensure that travelers can continue to use the so-called “digital green certificates” in case new restrictions are put in place after their original deadline of June 30, 2022.

What is the EU “digital green certificate”?

If you’ve traveled within the EU in the past year, you’ve probably used it.

1st In July 2021, EU countries began introducing the “digital green certificate”, a Covid pass designed by the European Commission to facilitate travel between EU member states after months of restrictions.

It can be issued to EU citizens and residents who have been vaccinated against Covid, have tested negative or have recovered from the virus, as proof of their state of health.

Although it’s called a certificate, it’s not a separate document, it’s just a way to recognize the national health pass schemes of all EU countries.

It consists of a QR code displayed on a device or printed.

So if you live in an EU country, the QR code issued when you were vaccinated or tested can be scanned and recognized by all other EU countries – you can display the code either on a paper certificate, either on the health card application for your country, for example TousAntiCovid if you are in France or the green pass in Italy.

The codes are recognized in all 27 EU member states, plus 40 non-EU countries that have joined the scheme, including the UK – full list here.

What does the extension of certificates mean?

In practice, the legal extension of the EU Covid pass does not mean much if EU countries do not impose any restrictions.

It is important to point out that each EU country decides on its own entry rules – requiring proof of vaccination, negative tests, etc. You should therefore check with your destination country.

All the EU certificate does is provide countries with an easy way to recognize each other’s certificates.

At present, travel within the EU is quite relaxed, with most countries only requiring negative tests for unvaccinated people, but the certificate will become more relevant again if countries impose new measures to curb the spread of the virus.

According to the latest data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, countries like France, Portugal and parts of Italy and Austria are again in the red.

EU certificate legislation neither prescribes nor prohibits such measures, but ensures that all certificate holders are treated equally in all participating countries.

The EU certificate can also be used to gain access to places such as bars and restaurants if countries decide to reimpose health or vaccine passes on a national basis.

So nothing changes?

Indeed, the legislation introduces some modifications to the current certificates. These include the clarification that passes issued after vaccination must reflect all doses administered, regardless of the Member State where the inoculation took place. This followed complaints about certificates showing the incorrect number of vaccine doses when these were received in different countries.

Additionally, new rules allow for the ability to issue a reinstatement certificate following an antigen test and expand the range of antigen tests allowed to qualify for the green pass.

To support the development and study of vaccines against Covid, it will also be possible to issue vaccination certificates to people taking part in clinical trials.

At the insistence of the European Parliament, the Commission will have to publish an assessment of the situation by 31 December 2022 and propose to repeal or maintain the certificate accordingly. Thus, although it is extended for one year, the certificate could be terminated sooner if it is no longer deemed necessary.

European Parliament rapporteur, Spanish MEP Juan Fernando López Aguilar, said: “The lack of coordination between EU governments on travel has created chaos and disrupted the lives of millions of Europeans who simply wanted to move freely and safely throughout the EU.

“We sincerely hope the worst of the pandemic is far behind us and we don’t want the Covid certificates to be in place one day longer than necessary.”

Vaccination requirements for the certificate

An EU certificate can be issued to a person vaccinated with any type of vaccine, but many countries only accept vaccines approved by the EMA (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Novavax, Valneva and Janssen) – if you have been vaccinated with another vaccine, you must check the rules of the country in which you are travelling.

Certificates remain valid for 9 months (270) days after a full vaccination cycle – so if you received your vaccine more than nine months ago, you will need a booster to be considered fully vaccinated.

There is no requirement for a second booster, so if you have had a booster you remain “fully immunized” even if your booster was given more than 9 months ago.

As of 1 March 2022, EU countries have issued nearly 1.2 billion EU Covid certificates, including 1.15 billion after vaccination, 511 million following testing and 55 million after recovering from the virus. virus.

France, Italy, Germany, Denmark and Austria are the countries that have issued the most EU Covid certificates.

About Juana Jackson

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