According to Brussels, the extension until June 30, 2023 is necessary because the corona virus is still circulating in Europe. Furthermore, the Commission states that there is uncertainty as to what will happen in the second half of this year. The daily management of the EU also wants to take into account the possible emergence of new variants.
Travelers at Schiphol will need to keep their QR code handy for some time.
Ⓒ ROBIN UTRECHT
“Without this extension, we run the risk of having many different national systems. This would create a lot of confusion and obstacles,” says European Commissioner Didier Reynders (Justice).
Before the arrival of the corona travel card, the EU was struggling with a patchwork of travel rules. This chaos returned for a while last fall due to the omicron panic. Suddenly, many member states again imposed their own additional testing and quarantine obligations. Member States have agreed that from this week they will in principle cease to apply such additional requirements.
Brussels’ proposal to extend the corona pass has not yet been approved by the European Parliament and member states. Proposals can also be made to adjust the rules of the game.
Brussels stresses that this is a temporary measure and that a 12-month extension has therefore been chosen. EU residents can obtain the QR code with a test, recovery or vaccination certificate. Since February 1, the rules for the vaccination certificate have been adapted: it is only valid if someone has had a booster nine months after the last vaccine.
Experts are still debating whether the recall should also have an expiration date. The recovery receipt is valid for 180 days.
Many Member States also use the QR code as an entry ticket for, for example, catering, museums and events. Brussels does not want to conclude European agreements on this subject. Each Member State can therefore establish its own rules in this regard. For example, some countries have introduced 2G, which excludes the unvaccinated (without proof of cure).
The European Parliament criticizes the proposal to extend the corona travel certificate by one year. JA21 MEP Rob Roos thinks it’s a bad plan: “More and more countries are dropping the measures, but the European Commission wants to keep imposing rules on millions of Europeans. Corona proof was introduced to promote free travel, but it is now the biggest obstacle to free travel.
His colleague from the SGP, Bert-Jan Ruissen, would prefer to see the corona pass disappear today rather than tomorrow: “This pass only creates a false sense of security and divides society.
VVD MEP Caroline Nagtegaal thinks it makes sense that the European Commission wants to extend the corona pass: “We have to avoid the risk of again getting a patchwork of different rules per country. At the same time, the liberal declares that it is important to look at reality. to watch: “What is the functionality of the pass? It might be an idea for the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) to look at a system that takes into account the number of hospital admissions and we can use the pass as soon as the pressure on the problem is too high.