The EU’s vaccine passport, the Covid digital certificate, is being rolled out in all 27 countries – but what does that mean for British travelers heading to Europe?
And if you receive an Indian-made version of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, could it affect your ability to travel abroad?
What is the EU Digital Covid Certificate?
- They have been vaccinated against Covid-19
- Recently a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab test for the virus
- Recently recovered from Covid-19
It’s available in all 27 EU member states and is recognized by them – plus Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
It’s free – and all EU citizens, as well as non-EU citizens residing or legally residing in member states (with the right to travel to other member states) can download it or get a hard copy.
Some countries already use the certificate on a voluntary basis – but it is officially offered from 1 July with a period of six weeks.
The individual’s data remains on the certificate and is not stored or retained when verified – at the airport, for example.
Why is it needed?
It is hoped that certification will make it easier for people to travel around the European Union.
It is not a travel document – they will still need to carry a passport or other form of identification.
But anyone with a certificate should, in principle, be exempted from testing or being quarantined when crossing international borders.
Is it the same as the UK NHS Covid Pass?
It’s not the same – but they both display the same information and are meant to make it easier for someone to show their Covid status.
digital NHS Covid Pass It can be accessed via the menu NHS . Application. A hard copy can be requested by calling 119.
For people aged 16 or over in England it shows evidence of:
- Negative PCR test
- Recovery from Covid-19
Will the European Union recognize the NHS Covid Pass?
Not yet – but some individual countries, such as Greece and Spain, are already accepting it.
If it is satisfied that a non-EU degree complies with the EU “standards and regulations”, it can decide to accept it across all 27 countries.
The UK government says free and open travel is a priority.
“We are in talks with the European Commission to reopen travel routes from the UK,” an official said.
Does it matter which vaccine someone receives?
- The Pfizer-Biwantech Vaccine known as Kommernate
- Oxford AstraZeneca (AZ) known as vaxiferia
- modern known as Spikefax
- Janssen (sometimes referred to as Johnson & Johnson vaccine) is the same as in the UK
But the AZ vaccine doses manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) are also known by a third name – Covishield.
And although they are identical to those made in Europe, the European Union has not authorized their use.
Does it matter that Coffeeshield is not EU approved?
Coffeeshield is widely used in poor countries, Through the Covax Vaccine ProgramThere is concern that an EU passport will discriminate against travelers from those countries.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) does not need to approve the AZ manufacturing site in India, because the EU does not receive any doses from there.
But the serum institute Concept It is seeking emergency authorization from the European Union for ‘Coffeeshield’.
AstraZeneca also says it is working with the EMA to “list Covishield as a recognized vaccine for immunization passports.”
Can I receive a dose of Coffeeshield in the UK?
If you have been told you are taking an A-Z vaccine, it is possible.
Most doses of AZ in the UK are supplied from plants in North Wales and Staffordshire.
But five million Kofishield-branded doses were shipped from India as part of the UK’s order of 100 million doses from A to Z.
The Ministry of Health will not comment on individual vaccine supplies, due to commercial and security considerations.
Does it matter if I want to go to the European Union?
If you had the AZ vaccination – and you go to an EU country that accepts an NHS Covid Pass – your declaration must show that you have had the Vaxzevria vaccine, which is the EU’s name for AstraZeneca jab.
“All AstraZeneca vaccines offered in the UK are the same product and appear on the NHS Covid Pass as Vaxzevria,” says the Department of Health.