EU Parliament Supports Extension of COVID Certificate

The European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) has supported a proposal of the EU Commission to extend the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate (DCC) scheme for another year until June 2023.
In a meeting held on Thursday, April 28, the Committee has supported the proposal with 48 in favour, 16 against and no one abstaining, in a bid to make sure that the bloc’s citizens continue benefiting from their right of free movement despite the evolution of the pandemic.
MEP Juan Fernando López Aguilar, who directed the development of the report on the framework provided to the Committee, commented on the matter, saying that the Certificate had allowed unilateral national limits to be imposed without jeopardizing EU citizens’ right to free movement and equality.
We wanted to prevent discrimination between countries of origin, and we wanted this regulation to be time-limited. However, we can only get rid of it once the pandemic is over. Since it is not over yet, we are extending the validity of the scheme and asking experts to evaluate the situation in six months,” he said, asserting that since now people are freely travelling again, it means that the regulation is effectively working.
Approving the proposal, the LIBE Committee has also supported the changes proposed by the Commission, which include granting recovery certificates for travellers who have tested negative with rapid antigen tests, which has not been possible previously.
During Thursday’s meeting, the Committee has, however, decided to send a request to the Commission, asking it to review the scheme after six months again and to put it to an end if no longer deemed necessary.
The MEPs have called on the EU countries to refrain from imposing COVID-19 restrictions this summer unless absolutely necessary, and even then, in line with scientific advice from the EU Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the EU Health Security Committee.

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