SPAIN will participate in trials of the European Union’s digital COVID-19 certificate from June 7, the Prime Minister announced on Friday.

The involvement in the trial, at least three weeks ahead of the launch of the scheme across the EU, means Spain can welcome tourists from across the bloc who can show immunity to the coronavirus.

“This will be decisive in getting the certificate ready before summer begins and is big news for our tourism industry,” he told an event on rural depopulation in the northern Spanish city of Soria. 

Known as the EU Digital Covid Certificate, (it was previously called the Digital Green Certificate) the scheme will be used by all EU countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway as well as Switzerland and be available to EU citizens as well as third country nationals who reside within the EU.

Under the current terms it will not be valid for those travelling from countries outside the European Union, including the United Kingdom.

However, earlier this month Spain announced that it would be ready to welcome travellers from across the world from June 7 as long as they could show immunity.

Further details on what they will be required to show immunity have not yet been made clear.

Spain also lifted restrictions on travellers from Britain on May 24 no longer requiring them to have a negative PCR test to enter.

What we know about the EU digital Covid Certificate

The certificate will carry proof that the holder has either;

  • been fully vaccinated
  • has recently recovered from the virus (meaning the holder has antibodies in their system)
  • or has recently tested negative for Covid 

The idea is that certificates will help ease travel between EU member states, which up until now has depended on the measures brought in by individual nations. So it could see the removal of the need to undergo tests before or after travelling or to quarantine, but only for those who carry the certificate.

Each member state will have to produce their own method of showing paper certificates and mobile apps, that will carry proof, in the form of a QR code, of vaccination, a negative test or full recovery from Covid. 

The EU insists the certificates will be “free of charge, obtained easily and also available to people vaccinated before the EU Digital Covid Certificate Regulation has entered into force.”

The EU has agreed that both antigen (lateral flow) and PCR tests will be accepted and while the passes would be limited to vaccines that have received EU-wide authorisation, Member States could decide to accept other vaccines as well.

What if I don’t have the vaccine?

Travellers who aren’t yet fully vaccinated could still qualify for the certificate if they either have recently recovered from COVID or they show a negative PCR test.

The EU insists no one will be forced to use the EU certificate, so it is likely that other measures will stay in place for those who don’t have one, such as testing on arrival or mandatory quarantine, but Spain has not yet announced what measures it will put in place.

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