RIGA - To ensure that EU citizens can benefit from their right to free movement regardless of the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Parliament has endorsed the Civil Liberties Committee’s decision to open negotiations with the member states to prolong the EU Digital Covid Certificate scheme, which is set to expire on June 30, for another 12 months.
The European Parliament's press secretary Janis Krastins told LETA that along with extending the validity of the Covid-19 certificate scheme until June 30, 2023, the changes also enable member states to grant test certificates based on new types of antigen assay tests.
MEPs amended the proposals to stress that member states should avoid additional restrictions to the freedom of movement for certificate holders, unless absolutely necessary.
If restrictions are needed, they should be limited and proportionate, based on the latest scientific advice from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the EU Health Security Committee.
They also ask the European Commission to assess if the Covid-19 certificate scheme is necessary and proportionate six months after its extension. MEPs want to keep the period in which the regulation applies as short as possible and repeal it as soon as the epidemiological situation allows.
The creation of the EU Digital Covid Certificate was adopted in June 2021 to facilitate free movement in Europe during the pandemic, for a limited period of 12 months.