Brussels, Belgium | Xinhua | The European Union (EU) digital COVID-19 certificate will only be valid for travel for nine months, the European Commission said on Tuesday.
The Commission said it had adopted a binding acceptance period of nine months (270 days) for vaccination certificates for the purposes of travel within the EU. The policy will come into effect from Feb. 1.
“A clear and uniform acceptance period for vaccination certificates will guarantee that travel measures continue to be coordinated,” the Commission said.
So far, 807 million certificates have been issued within the EU. Meanwhile, 60 countries and territories across five continents have adopted a similar system, the Commission said.
The nine-month validity period of the EU digital COVID certificate takes into account guidance from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control that booster doses should be given at the latest six months after completion of the first vaccination cycle.
A three-month grace period has been added to allow national vaccination campaigns to adjust, and ensure that citizens have access to booster doses.
For a single-dose vaccine, the 270 days start from the first and only shot. For a two-dose vaccine, the 270 days begin after the second shot, or if it is the member state’s policy, following the first and only shot after having recovered from the virus.
European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders said that it was now up to the member states to ensure boosters are “rolled out swiftly to protect our health and ensure safe travelling.”