European Union Parliamentarians and all members of the public will now be required to present an EU Digital COVID certificate in order to enter the Parliament buildings.
The measure, which will be enforced from today (3/11) will require all people entering Parliament's buildings in its three places will be requested to present a valid EU Digital COVID Certificate, including journalists. The EU Digital COVID certificate proves that a person is either fully vaccinated, has immunity after having recovered from COVID-19 or can show a recent negative PCR test result. Both digital and paper formats of the EU Digital COVID Certificate or of a recognised equivalent certificate will be accepted.
A proof of a negative result of a PCR test carried out within the last 48 hours in Belgium, Luxembourg or France will also be accepted.
Existing precautionary measures like the compulsory wearing of a medical face mask and temperature checks at entrances remain in place.
The measure, taken by the European Parliament's Bureau, will enable MEPs the return to in-person meetings for parliamentary activities, while continuing to guarantee safety. The decision takes into account the specificity of the European Parliament, an Institution gathering MEPs and other actors travelling to and from different Member States on a regular basis and the significant differences in vaccination level in Member States, according to the latest ECDC data. Please note that the measure was already in place for all external visitors since the beginning of September.
Personal data retrieved from the Certificate during the scanning process will only encompass the name of the holder, the authenticity and the validity of the Certificate. The personal data will be processed in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 and its use will be strictly limited to granting access to Parliament’s buildings. Personal data will not be stored, recorded or retained locally or externally or transferred to any other Union body or third party.
RESOURCE | ABOUT THE EU DIGITAL COVID CERTIFICATE
- EU Member States have issued more than 591 million EU Digital COVID Certificates.
- 43 countries are already connected to the EU system: 27 EU Member States, 3 European Economic Area (EEA) countries, Switzerland, and 12 other countries and territories.
- In total, the Commission was approached by 60 third countries interested in joining the EU system. Beyond the ones already connected, technical discussions are ongoing with 28 of these countries.
- The air transport sector greatly benefited from the EU Digital COVID Certificate, which became operational just in time for the summer peak travel period. The association of Airports Council International (ACI Europe) reported that in July 2021 a total passenger volumes more than doubled compared to July 2020.
- ACI Europe attributes this change to the rollout of the EU Digital COVID Certificate along with the easing of travel restrictions.
- According to an EU Parliament's Eurobarometer survey, about two thirds (65%) of respondents agreed that the EU Digital COVID Certificate is the safest means for free travel in Europe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 20 EU Member States also use the EU Digital COVID Certificate for domestic purposes, such as for the access to large events and restaurants, cinemas and museums, with an additional national legal basis.
- 27 January 2021
Guidelines laying out interoperability requirements of digital vaccination certificates were adopted, building on discussion held between the Commission and Member States in the eHealth Network since November 2020.
- 17 March 2021
The Commission proposed a legislative text establishing a common framework for an EU certificate.
- 14 April 2021
The Council adopted its mandate to start negotiations with the European Parliament on the proposal.
- 22 April 2021
Member States' representatives in the eHealth Network agreed on guidelines describing the main technical specifications for the implementation of the system. This was a crucial step for the establishment of the necessary infrastructure at EU level.
- 7 May 2021
The Commission started the pilot test of the EU interoperability infrastructure (EU Gateway) that will facilitate the authentication of the EU Certificates.
- 20 May 2021
The European Parliament and the Council agreed on the EU Digital COVID Certificate.
- 1 June 2021
EU Gateway (interconnection of national systems) goes live.
- 1 - 30 June 2021
Warm-up phase: Member States can launch the certificate on a voluntary basis provided they are ready to issue and verify certificates, and have the necessary legal base in place.
- mid-June 2021
Revised Council Recommendation on travel within the EU.
- 1 July 2021
The EU Digital COVID Certificate enters into application throughout the EU.
- 1 July - 12 August 2021
Phase-in period: if a Member State is not yet ready to issue the new certificate to its citizens, other formats can still be used and should be accepted in other Member States.
(Source: European Commission)