Today, the European Commission has proposed an update to the Council Recommendation on the coordination of free movement restrictions in the EU, which were put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the epidemiological situation is improving and vaccination campaigns are speeding up all over the EU, the Commission is proposing that Member States gradually ease travel measures, including most importantly for the holders of the EU Digital COVID Certificate. The Commission has also proposed to update the common criteria for risk areas and to introduce an ‘emergency brake' mechanism, to address the prevalence of new variants of concern or interest. The proposal also includes specific provisions on children to ensure unity of travelling families and a standard validity period for tests.
In addition, the Commission calls for further efforts to ensure a smooth rollout of the EU Digital COVID Certificate. For this purpose, Member States should make use, to the maximum extent possible, of existing possibilities under national law to start issuing EU Digital COVID Certificates already before the entry into application of the underlying Regulation on 1 July. Where national law provides for the verification of COVID-19 certificates, holders of an EU Digital COVID Certificate could already make use of it when travelling.