Explainer: How will the EU’s Covid-19 digital green certificate work?

Explainer: How will the EU’s Covid-19 digital green certificate work?

The digital green certificate will offer digital proof that a person has either been vaccinated against Covid-19, received a negative test result or has recovered from Covid-19 in the last six months.

Phone, keys, boarding pass, passport… There will be a new thing to add to that airport checklist from July 19 - your EU digital green certificate. But what exactly does it prove, where is it valid and how long will it be in use?

What will it prove?

The digital green certificate will offer digital proof that a person has either been vaccinated against Covid-19, received a negative test result or has recovered from Covid-19 in the last six months.

It will be available in both digital and paper formats, will be free of charge and will be valid in all EU countries 

Picture: European Union
Picture: European Union

What test do I need and when do I take it?

While some countries will only require a negative antigen test, Ireland is not one of them. A negative PCR test will be required for all passengers traveling to the State within 72 hours prior to their arrival.

How can I get it?

The EU has confirmed national authorities are in charge of issuing the digital certificate. It could be issued by hospitals, test centers and/or health authorities.

A mock-up of the EU's digital green certificate
A mock-up of the EU's digital green certificate

Where is it valid?

The EU digital green certificate will allow travellers to holiday abroad in 27 EU countries this summer.

It does not apply to the US or UK and it is not yet clear when an element of free travel will resume with these countries. However, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan has indicated that there will be a “similar” approach taken to travel with both of these states.

When will it be in use?

Irish citizens can use the green pass to travel within the EU when international travel resumes on July 19. It is not yet clear when the pass will become obsolete.

Is it valid for all vaccines?

The digital green certificate will be issued to a person who has received any COVID-19 vaccine which has received EU marketing authorisation. At present, this includes the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen Pharmaceutica NV) jabs.

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