Minister of Health Paulette Lenert and European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders provided further details on the EU certificate.
The EU Covid-19 Certificate is intended to allow people who have been vaccinated, tested negative, or recovered from an infection to travel easily across the Union. In the context of his visit to the Grand Duchy to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the European Consumer Centre, European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders took the opportunity to provide further details on the EU certificate.
As of 1 July, every EU member state will be legally obligated to ensure that its citizens can apply for a Covid-19 certificate, both in digital and in paper form.
The EU Commission has worked alongside member states to test out how such a certificate can be introduced in order to ensure a secure check. To avoid forgeries, the certificates are based on individual QR codes. 22 EU member states, including Luxembourg, have already tested how these codes could be verified. Reynders also reiterated that, for the time being, a blood test for antibodies is not valid to qualify as "healed".
Lenert explained that during discussions in the European Parliament on the topic, it became clear that experts are still divided on the issue. The Minister stressed that with further research, such an option could still be introduced at a later time. For the time being, a positive PCR test, and not a rapid test, is the deciding factor to determine an infection with Covid-19 and thus also whether or not someone is considered as "healed".
Since Wednesday, seven EU member states, including Germany, Croatia, and Greece, have already started issuing the EU certificate. Covidcheck.lu, the website which will serve as the basis for the certificate in Luxembourg, will go online on 13 June.
While the certificate will allow people to travel across the EU without having to quarantine upon arrival, there is an exception for so-called "dark red zones", i.e. areas with high numbers of infections or a presence of particularly severe variants of the virus.
Regarding families, children will not have to quarantine if their parents are vaccinated. Younger children will also be spared both PCR and rapid tests. Currently, the age limit is set at six years and younger, but there is a chance that it could be increased in the future.
Reynders added that the EU is currently in negotiations to ensure that the certificate is also recognised in non-EU countries. In turn, these negotiations could then also allow vaccinated citizens from other continents to travel to Europe.
The Covid-19 certificate will be abolished once the pandemic is over.