The EU-wide Digital COVID Certificate, more commonly known as the ‘Digital Green Certificates’ (PDF, 481kb) is a framework for the issuance, verification and acceptance of interoperable certificates on vaccination, testing and recovery to facilitate free movement in the participating EU and EEA countries, first proposed on 17th March 2021 (PDF, 968kb).
The initiative although primarily intended to facilitate travel across EU under a common framework during the pandemic, it also has the possibility for cross-functionality for healthcare needs, if needed, across EU (currently data limited to vaccination status only, but may work as a proof of concept for later).
Further, to support the interoperability and acceptance of the digital green certificates issued by different EU countries, the framwork is developed by the ‘EU Digital health and care’ inititaive (PDF, 2.7Mb), also known as the eHealth Network.
On 10th May 2021, a common list of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests, including those of which their test results are mutually recognised, and a common standardised set of data to be included in COVID-19 test result certificates (Digital Green Certificates) was also agreed upon by the EU members states (PDF, 1.4Mb).
On 13 May 2020, the EU countries also agreed on interoperability guidelines for approved contact tracing mobile applications in the EU (PDF, 551kb). The list of mobile app-based contact tracing apps in the EU Member States is available here and a contact tracing app in Luxembourg is not foreseen! Please note that contact tracing apps are voluntarily installed by citizens and are based on Bluetooth proximity technology, and does not enable tracking of people’s locations! Moreover, in the same context, mobile apps intended for contact tracing are not allowed to identify a COVID-19 individual (PDF, 566kb).
On 20th May 2021, it was noted that the the EU Gateway, which allows to verify certificates across borders, has been ‘pilot tested’ across 17 Member States and Iceland between 3rd and 16th May 2021, and an aditional 5 Member States would test in coming days. The EU Gateway is expected to ‘go live’ as of June 2021.
The Commission has already initiated an open source reference software (on Github, ongoing) to support Member States to develop their national solution to issue certificates, to scan and check the QR codes.
If applicable, the digital green certificates can be requested by any resident in paper and/or digital format and are free of cost. The guidelines and technical specifications on the applications of the Digital Green Certificate also gives an insight of the possibilities and how the certificates would actually work (PDF, 1.6Mb). There is also a ‘Questions and Answers on Digital Green Certificate’ published by European Commission for additional details.
The regulation will enter into force on 1st July 2021, with a phasing-in period of six weeks for those Member States that need additional time.
Luxembourg government confirmed on 07.06.2021 that the EU Digital COVID Certificate (new QR code) for Luxembourg residents would be available through a mobile application CovidCheck.lu The certificates would be also available in digital form (PDF) as well as in paper form, and can be downloaded from MyGuichet.lu space or can be requestd for a printed one by post.
Luxembourg intends to issue the new certificates in accordance with the format defined by the European Union from mid-June 2021
The participation and ‘Digital Green Certificate’ system is currently ongoing with Member States, third countries, and several international organisations.
Below is the current status (as of 09.06.2021) for the roll-out of the EU Digital COVID Certificate across EU27 and 4 participating countries
Started: These countries are already connected to the ‘EU data gateway’ and started issuing and/or verifying the EU Digital COVID Certificates
Ready: These countries have completed the tests and are technically capable to connect to the ‘EU data gateway’, but have not yet started issuing and/or verifying the EU Digital COVID Certificates (as of 09.06.2021)
Test-Phase: These countries are currently testing the connectivity to the ‘EU data gateway’ and developing their verification/validation methods.
Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice, on Tuesday, 08.06.2021, tweeted ‘One million European Covid certificates already issued in the EU‘