EU Digital COVID Certificate: Acceptance period of 270 days for vaccination certificates starts tomorrow
As of tomorrow, 1 February, the new rules start applying on a standard acceptance period of 270 days for EU Digital COVID vaccination certificates used for travel within the EU. In line with the new rules, set out in the Commission’s Delegated Act of 21 December 2021, Member States must accept vaccination certificates for a period of 270 days (9 months) since the completion of the primary vaccination series. For a single-dose vaccine, this means 270 days from the first and only shot. For a two-dose vaccine, it means 270 days from the second shot or, in line with the national vaccination strategy, the first and only shot after having recovered from the virus. Member States should not provide for a different acceptance period for the purposes of travel within the European Union. The standard acceptance period does not apply to certificates for booster doses. Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, said: “As of tomorrow, there will be an EU-wide rule as to how long vaccination certificates for the primary series must be accepted when used in the context of cross-border travel. This reflects the waning protection of the vaccine, and underlines the importance of getting a booster shot. Supported by the experts at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the European Medicines Agency, the Commission will closely monitor whether future adaptations to this rule are needed.” These rules apply only to the vaccination certificates used for the purpose of travel in the EU. Member States may apply different rules when using the EU Digital COVID Certificate in a domestic context, but are invited to align with the acceptance period set at EU level. As of tomorrow, new rules also have to be implemented as regards the encoding of booster shots in Certificate. As already clarified in December, boosters will be recorded as: 3/3 for a booster dose following a primary 2-dose vaccination series; 2/1 for a booster dose following a single-dose vaccination or a one dose of a 2-dose vaccine administered to a recovered person. Certificates that were issued differently before that clarification need to be corrected and issued again, to make sure that boosters can be distinguished from the status of full vaccination. More information on the EU Digital COVID Certificate can be found on the dedicated website.