This 17 March 2021 the European Commission presented its proposal to create a Digital Green Certificate in time for summer 2021, the purpose of this to “facilitate the safe free movement of citizens within the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic”.
The new certificates would serve as « digital proof » of the following:
- The holder has been vaccinated against Covid-19
- Test results (NAAT/RT-PCR test or a rapid antigen test)
- The holder has recovered from Covid-19
Certificates would be valid across all EU Member States and issued by national authorities.
The aim of the proposal is to allow for the lifting of travel restrictions in a coordinated manner: when travelling, a person (EU citizen, or third-country national legally staying or residing in the EU) holding a Digital Green Certificate would be exempt from free movement restrictions in the same way as those from the visited country. If a Member State still wishes to impose certain restrictions such as quarantine or a test, the Commission must be notified.
The Commission is clear that vaccination will not be a pre-requisite condition to free movement since the certificates will also provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 test result.
Notably, all Covid-19 vaccines will be accepted on the certificate, however, discretion will be granted to Member States as to whether they accept certificates with vaccines which have not received EU marketing authorisation.
The proposal to create a Digital Green Certificate, thereby exempting EU citizens from travel restrictions, is a welcomed development for the sport sector. The hope is that it contributes to the recovery of the sporting events industry in Europe, allowing for both athlete and fan participation.
We now wait for the approval of the Digital Green Certificate proposal from both the European Parliament and EU Member States.