The European Parliament gave final approval Wednesday to the COVID-19 digital certificate — a smart phone app that European Union citizens can use to travel freely among European countries without having to quarantine or undergo extra tests.
The regulations governing the use of the document were adopted in two votes at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. The lawmakers also secured an agreement that member nations would not insert additional rules on those carrying the certificates.
Member nations must now give their approval to the app, which is viewed as a formality.
The program is expected to begin July 1, and all EU countries must recognize certificates issued by other EU countries. The passes will be issued by individual nations, not from a centralized European system. They will contain a QR code with advanced security features. Personal data will not be shared with other countries.
Several countries already have begun introducing the system, including Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece and Poland.
In a release, the European Parliament said all EU countries must accept vaccination certificates issued in other member states for vaccines authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
It will be up to the member states to decide whether they also will accept certificates for vaccines authorized following national authorization procedures or for vaccines listed by the World Health Organization ((WHO)) for emergency use.