The European Commission has stated that over one million EU citizens have received the new Covid-19 health certificate, which has been rolled out to allow citizens to travel for non-essential reasons.
The figure was announced to the European Parliament by Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders ahead of a vote that will place the document in law before the summer tourism season. The law is expected to be passed following an agreement between MEPs and the European Union’s 27 member states.
It is hoped that the certificate, which is to be used from the 1st of July, will remove the requirement for mandatory quarantine or further testing for people travelling to other countries as it will present an individual’s vaccine status, previous infection status or their Covid-19 test status.
However, the EU Commission wants as many EU countries to start using the system at an earlier date than the 1st of July. Reynders stated that the more certificates that are issued, the easier the process will be for the summer while adding, “we risk a big bang on the 1st of July, which we cannot afford,”.
Nine countries have already begun issuing the documents, including Greece, Croatia, Spain, and Germany. The remaining countries are Poland, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Bulgaria.
In relation to over a million health certificates being issued, which can be presented in online form or paper, Reynders stated that many more citizens will follow in the coming weeks and months.
The certificates will present minimal data of the individual to prevent identity skimming while the EU legislation in regards to their use will expire after a year to prevent them from becoming a fixture with potential control uses in the future.
It has also been agreed by EU lawmakers that proof of vaccination in EU member states will only apply to jabs authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). According to Reynders, work remains ongoing into expanding the use of the certificate outside of Europe.
A particular emphasis has been placed on testing to prevent discrimination against the unvaccinated, predominantly younger people who rank lower on the vaccine administration list.