EU: From tomorrow, the vaccination certificate will be valid for nine months

From tomorrow, February 1, the new rules regarding a standard acceptance period of 270 days for COVID digital vaccination certificates will come into force

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As of tomorrow, 1 February, the new rules for a standard 270-day acceptance period for EU COVID digital vaccination certificates used for intra-EU travel will take effect.

According to the new rules, set out in the Commission Delegated Act of 21 December 2021, Member States must accept vaccination certificates for a period of 270 days (9 months) from the completion of the initial vaccination series. For single dose vaccines, this means 270 days from the first single dose. For two-dose vaccines, this means 270 days after the second dose or, depending on the national vaccination strategy, the first and only dose after recovery from the virus. Member States should not provide for a different acceptance period for travel within the European Union. The standard acceptance period does not apply to booster certificates.

Justice Commissioner Didier Renders said: "From tomorrow there will be an EU-wide rule on how long vaccination certificates of the original vaccination series must be accepted when used on cross-border journeys. The rule reflects the declining protection provided by the vaccine and emphasizes the importance of the booster dose. "With the support of experts from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control and the European Medicines Agency, the Commission will closely monitor whether future adjustments to this rule are needed."

These rules only apply to vaccination certificates used for travel to the EU. Member States may apply different rules to the use of the EU digital COVID certificate within their own country, but are required to comply with the acceptance period set at EU.

From tomorrow, new rules must also apply to the coding of booster portions on the certificate. As already stated in December, booster doses will be recorded as follows: 3/3 for booster dose after initial 2-dose vaccination series; 2/1 for booster dose after single-dose vaccination or one 2-dose vaccine given to individual who has recovered.

Certificates issued differently prior to this clarification should be corrected and reissued to ensure that booster doses are distinct from the full vaccination regime. More information about the EU digital COVID is available on the dedicated website.