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S&Ds: Parliament votes to extend EU COVID Certificates as a precaution


23 Jun 2022


Health & Consumers

Following negotiations with EU governments, the European Parliament has voted to extend the validity of the EU Digital COVID Certificate. The certificates were originally agreed between the Parliament and the Council as a tool to make travel easier, and in particular to ease travel restrictions for people that have been vaccinated, tested negative or have recently recovered from COVID. The current framework is due to expire on 1 July. S&D Chair of the civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee, Juan Fernando López Aguilar MEP, led the negotiations on the precautionary renewal of the certificates until 30 June 2023, but secured a crucial review for December 2022 as part of the final agreement that could result in the measure being brought to an end sooner.

LIBE Chair, Juan Fernando López Aguilar MEP, said

“No one will ever forget the profound and painful impact the COVID pandemic had on each and every one of us. Early on, strict travel restrictions were a sacrifice we were forced to make in the interests of public health, but what then followed was a slow and laborious return to free movement. The lack of coordination from EU governments on travel brought chaos and disruption to the lives of millions of Europeans that simply wanted to move freely and safely throughout the EU. We sincerely hope that the worst of the pandemic is far behind us and we do not want COVID certificates in place a day longer than necessary. However, the risk of new waves of COVID where cases surge is there and, if needed, we have to have the right tools in place to avoid mistakes of the past, like disproportionate or unnecessary travel restrictions. Even if we have agreed to extending the validity of certificates until summer 2023, we signed up to this timeline with the guarantee that we will carefully review their need by the end of 2022 to assess if we can get rid of them once and for all.”