Belgium supports 9-month limit for EU Covid pass without booster

Belgium supports 9-month limit for EU Covid pass without booster
EU Digital Covid Certificate. Credit: European Commission

Belgium is in support of limiting the validity of the EU Covid-19 vaccination certificate limited to just nine months, unless a booster dose is administered, said Prime Minister Alexander De Croo on Tuesday.

During the Federal Advisory Committee on European Affairs on Tuesday morning, De Croo made it clear that Belgium would take this stance at the EU summit on Thursday.

At the end of November, the European Commission proposed to take nine months as a common standard validity period for a certificate after complete vaccination (one dose for Johnson & Johnson, two doses for AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna).

As soon as someone had received a booster dose, however, the validity of the certificate would be extended, with no end date for the moment.

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“Member States have started to adopt rules on the duration of acceptance of the vaccination certificate,” said EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders last month. “We see a clear risk that different approaches between countries could jeopardise confidence in the EU Covid certificate system and free movement.”

The Commission’s proposal to establish a common standard will now be discussed at the EU level. For De Croo, the only question is “do we start on 1 February or 1 March,” he said on Tuesday.

At the same time, the Commission proposed in its latest recommendations to EU Member States that travel policies should be based more on the vaccination status of the traveller than on their place of origin.

The Commission proposed to change the system from next March: the list of foreign countries of departure recommended as “safe” would be abandoned, and the determining factor would be the status of each individual traveller, either their vaccination status (fully vaccinated) or their status as a person who has recovered from the disease in the previous months.

Belgium also supports this position, De Croo said on Tuesday.


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