While Belgium's Consultative Committee should bring clarity about the EU 'Digital Covid Certificate' on Friday, one thing is certain: anyone crossing borders this summer will have to meet at least one of three conditions first.
The European Union and Belgium are both aiming to finalise their certificates to facilitate free movement within the EU before 1 July, but three conditions for travel already seem certain.
Travellers will have to show the country they are entering that they pose no - or at least a limited - risk of infection, by showing that they:
- have been vaccinated against the coronavirus,
- have a recent negative PCR Covid-19 test,
- have been infected in the past, and are therefore immune.
At the EU level, these conditions were already agreed on 20 May, and this weekend, Belgian infectious diseases expert Nathan Clumeck confirmed that they will also apply for Belgium.
"No country will accept a traveller who does not meet one of the three conditions," he told Sudinfo. "Additionally, Belgium also requires a PCR test for travellers returning from a red zone country."
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On Sunday, Belgian Interior Affairs Minister Annelies Verlinden also stated on Francophone television that "all the practical details" for the implementation of the EU Certificate were "being worked out," and would be effective from 1 July.
Additionally, on 19 May, the ambassadors of the 27 Member States supported a proposal by the Commission to relax entry restrictions for travellers from non-EU countries who are fully vaccinated with a Covid-19 vaccine authorised in the EU.
The focus of Belgium's Consultative Committee on Friday 4 June will mainly be on the European Certificate, and on finalising its Belgian modalities for leaving and (re-)entering the country.
Walloon Minister-President Elio Di Rupo already stated that the Belgian certificate will be "very comparable" to the European one, but that there were still some uncertainties, such as whether the certificate will be granted after one or two vaccine doses.
Last week, the 'Digital Covid Certificate' was endorsed by the Civil Liberties Committee, which stated that the common framework for the tool should allow member states to issue certificates that will be interoperable, compatible, secure and verifiable across the EU.
The agreement still has to be tabled to vote at the plenary session between 7 and 10 June, before being approved by the Council and published in the Official Journal, before it can be implemented, which is expected to happen by 1 July 2021.