EU Digital COVID Certificate: Commission adopts equivalence decision for Swiss certificates

Today, the Commission adopted a decision ensuring that COVID-19 certificates issued by Switzerland will be considered equivalent to the EU Digital COVID Certificate. This means that Switzerland, as the first country from outside the 30 countries of EU and EEA area, will be connected to the EU’s system and that the Swiss COVID certificates will be accepted in the EU under the same conditions as the EU Digital COVID Certificate. In practice, holders of a Swiss certificate – Swiss nationals, EU citizens, and third-country nationals legally staying or residing in Switzerland – will be able to travel inside the EU under the same conditions as holders of an EU Digital COVID Certificate. At the same time, Switzerland has agreed to accept the EU Digital COVID Certificate for travel to Switzerland. Today’s decision will come into effect as of tomorrow, 9 July. Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, said: “I warmly welcome that the Swiss authorities have decided to implement a system based on the EU Digital COVID Certificate. As a result, the certificate will not only facilitate free movement within the EU, but also between the EU and Switzerland. This will allow EU citizens and Swiss nationals to travel safely and more freely this summer.” Free movement between the EU and Switzerland is based on a Free Movement of Persons Agreement, which does not contain a mechanism for incorporation of Union acts. As a result, the Commission had to adopt a separate decision to ensure that Swiss COVID Certificates can be recognised and accepted in the EU. The Commission’s decision on the equivalence of the Swiss COVID certificate is available online. More information on the EU Digital COVID Certificate can be found on the dedicated website and Q&A.