2021.06.02 17:12

Lithuania to start issuing EU digital Covid certificate on June 7

BNS, LRT.lt2021.06.02 17:12

The EU Digital Covid-19 Certificate system intended to facilitate travel within the bloc should become operational in Lithuania on June 7, the country’s deputy health minister said on Wednesday.  

"The Center of Registers, which is the main contractor because the digital certificate in Lithuania will be issued via the e-health portal [...], plans that the digital certificate [...] will be launched on June 7," Deputy Health Minister Živilė Simonaitytė told reporters.

Earlier in May, the European Parliament and EU member states reached a provisional deal on a digital certificate, which will show whether a person has been vaccinated, received a negative test result, or has recovered from Covid-19.

The certificate will be issued by national authorities and cover all 27 EU member states.

The deal is yet to be formally approved by the European Parliament whose plenary session is scheduled to take place in Strasbourg on June 7–10.

Lithuania plans to offer coronavirus antigen tests for free, which are needed to receive the pass if a person hasn’t been vaccinated or hasn’t recently recovered from the disease. However, other countries may not subside them, meaning a traveller would need to incur the additional expense.

The pass will be accessible via the website, and can also be issued in paper form by a GP.

Foreign nationals arriving in Lithuania with the pass will also be granted exceptions to some of the quarantine restrictions.

Read more: ‘Opportunity passport’ comes into effect in Lithuania

The pass will be available seven days after the second shot of the Pfizer vaccine, 14 days after the Jenssen jab, 14 days after the second dose of the Moderna jab, and 15 days after the second dose of the Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) vaccine.

It will also be issued to those who have recovered from Covid-19 in the past 180 days, as well as those with a negative test for the coronavirus.

Seven EU countries roll out digital Covid certificate to ease travel

On Tuesday, seven EU member states – Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia, and Poland – connected to the gateway and started issuing the first EU certificates.

A provisional deal on the certificate, previously known as the digital green certificate, was reached on 20 May, while the regulation will be applied from July 1.

But countries which have passed the technical tests and are ready to issue and verify certificates are already encouraged to start using the system on a voluntary basis.

The roll-out depends on each country’s progress. Germany started a partial roll-out, for example, with certificates available only in several regions.

Three more countries also linked to the gateway on Tuesday are slated to start rolling out the certificates soon, while some other EU countries will launch it only when all functions can be deployed nationwide.

With additional reporting by EurActiv, partners of LRT English.

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