Source: Lawyers for justice
The European Commission has published an Implementing Decision that the standard acceptance period of 270 days (9 months) is to apply to vaccination certificates for the purposes of issuing EU Digital Covid Certificates by Member States for travel.
Regulation (EU) 2021/953 sets out the EU Digital Certificate for the purpose of freedom of movement throughout the EU. Under this Regulation there are THREE categories of proof accepted for the issuing by Member States of an EU Digital Covid Certificate for travel:
1. Vaccination Certificate
2. Proof of Recovery; and
3. A negative rapid antigen or PCR test result
The European Commission have published a decision updating the operational Regulation (EU) 2021/1073 which lays down technical specifications for issuing the EU Digital Covid Certificate. The Commission proposes that the new rules apply as of 10th January 2022.
Member States are to re-issue EU Digital Covid Certificate for those people who have received Booster Doses.
The EU Commission specifically state that no acceptance period is to be set for:
‘…..certificates indicating the administration of booster doses or additional doses administered to better protect individuals who mount inadequate immune responses following the completion of the primary vaccination series. References in these Regulations to booster doses should be understood as also covering such additional doses’
Member States are required to re-issue certificates that follow different rules regarding the encoding of boosters to avoid the standard acceptance period for primary vaccination of 270 days is applied
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
An EU Digital Certificate based on a vaccination certificate is valid for 270 days (9 months) following from the completion of the primary vaccination for the purposes of travel.
If a person’s EU Digital Covid Certificate is no longer valid they are treated as unvaccinated and will be required to take either a rapid antigen test or a PCR test to travel. They will also be subject to the same quarantine requirements upon entry to a country as an unvaccinated person.
What is striking about the EU Commission’s Implementing Decision amending (EU) 2021/953 and (EU) 2021/1073 is that THERE IS NO STANDARD ACCEPTANCE PERIOD FOR THE VALIDITY OF BOOSTERS OF 270 DAYS (9 MONTHS) UNLIKE THE PRIMARY VACCINATION CERTIFICATE. Indeed, Member States have been instructed to re-issue Certificates for boosters with different coding to avoid the standard acceptance period of 9 months for primary vaccinations.
This begs the question: How long will a re-issued EU Digital Certificate be valid for from the date a person receives their first booster? After all, the EU Commission refer to booster doses in the plural rather than the singular. In theory, therefore, we could witness the re-issuing of EU Digital Certificates by Member States for boosters every 6 or even 3 months.
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