Commission sets validity period of EU COVID Certificate at 9 months, while winter travel chaos proliferates in Europe
On 21 December 2021, the European Commission announced a delegated regulation extending the validity period of the EU Digital COVID Certificate to nine months after the first full vaccination schedule. This binding act will come into force on 1 February 2022, after which outdated certificates – i.e., of people that had their second or first vaccine shot nine months before – will no longer be valid to travel in the EU. The Regulation still does not mention the validity of the booster.
HOTREC, together with other travel and tourism stakeholders, has systematically defended the harmonization of travel restrictions within the EU. Therefore, we support a standard duration of the vaccination certificate, as long as it is based on scientific evidence. In any case, the validity of the booster needs to be urgently harmonized as well, otherwise, the efficacity of the certificate and the possibility of allowing free movement within the Schengen area will be quickly jeopardized.
Moreover, we support the principle of the individual risk-based approach, meaning that someone with a valid EU COVID certificate should be able to travel across Schengen without further restrictions (testing or quarantine requirements).