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Parliamentary question - E-005222/2021(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Mr Reynders on behalf of the European Commission

Regulation 2021/953 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the EU Digital COVID Certificate[1] (EU DCC) is based on Article 21(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and aims to facilitate the right to free movement within the EU. The domestic use of COVID-19 certificates for other purposes than facilitating free movement within the EU, does not fall within the scope of the regulation.

On 21 December 2021, the Commission has adopted a Delegated Act amending the EU DCC Regulation, establishing, for the purpose of intra-EU travel, a binding acceptance period of 270 days for vaccination certificates showing completion of the primary vaccination cycle[2].

In line with Article 168(7) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Member States are responsible for defining their national health policy as well as the organisation and delivery of health services and medical care. The responsibility for national testing strategies therefore lies with Member States. However, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has issued several guidance documents to support Member States in defining their testing strategies, particularly in the context of the emergence of the Omicron variant of concern[3].

The Council is currently discussing a Commission proposal for a new Council Recommendation to facilitate safe free movement during the pandemic[4].

On 30 June 2020, based on a proposal of the Commission the Council adopted a recommendation on non-essential travel from outside the EU. The Council has amended this recommendation already twice and it is currently discussing a third amendment to simplify the framework and reflect recent developments, including on the certificate validity duration[5].

Last updated: 24 January 2022
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