The EU will recognise the Covid-19 certificates from the Vatican and San Marino, connecting both countries to the EU’s system, the European Commission announced recently.
1. Vatican and San Marino
In practice, holders of Covid-19 certificates in the Vatican and San Marino will be able to use the “green passports” under the same conditions as holders of an EU digital Covid-19 certificate. In return, both countries have indicated that they will accept the EU certificate to allow foreign travel into their countries. The Vatican City State and San Marino informed the Commission that their Covid-19 vaccination certificates are being issued in accordance with a standard and technological system that are interoperable with the EU framework.
I am pleased to see that more countries are implementing a system based on the EU digital Covid-19 certificate.Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice
2. Third countries
The Commission is also working on connecting other third countries, through an equivalence decision procedure. “We are taking active steps to recognise certificates issued by other third countries,” added Reynders. However, the Commissioner noted these countries must have the capacity to become interoperable with the EU framework and allow for the verification of their authenticity, validity and integrity. The EU executive is assessing whether third-countries’ certificates are interoperable with the EU certificate, allowing for the verification of their authenticity, validity and integrity. If in line, the Commission can issue an equivalence decision establishing its correspondence with the EU certificate.
3. Vaccine certificates
The EU’s “vaccine passports” entered into application on 1 July 2021. Essentially, all certificates have a unique QR code. When processing the certificate, the QR code and traveller’s signature will be verified. Each issuing body, like a hospital, has a digital signature key which is stored in a secure database in each country. The Commission built a gateway that will verify all certificate signatures across the EU.