EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders announced the figure before the European Parliament ahead of a vote to enshrine the document into law in time for the continent’s summer tourism season.
The certificate – which shows the holder’s immunity to Covid-19 either through vaccination or previous infection, or a negative test case – will be used for travel within the European Union from 1 July. But the Commission wants as many EU countries as possible to start early.
“The more certificates we can actually issue, the easier the process will be during the summer — otherwise we risk a big bang on July 1, which we can’t afford,” Reynders said. As of today, nine EU countries are already issuing documents, and more than a million citizens have received such certificates – which can be submitted either online or on paper – already.
EU legislators and capitals have also agreed that when it comes to proof of vaccinations, only those authorized by the European Medicines Agency – so far from BioNTech/Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – will be accepted in all EU countries.
But individual countries can also decide to accept other countries, only on their territory, such as those produced by China, or the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.
To prevent discrimination against the unvaccinated – especially young Europeans who do not yet have access to priority vaccines for the elderly – an emphasis has also been placed on testing.
Parliament failed to provide free travel Covid tests, but it wrested money and privileges from the European Commission to make it accessible to all.