The European Commission adopted a text on Tuesday amending EU rules on Covid-19 recovery certificates, now making it possible to verify recovery from infection with a rapid antigen test.
Currently, Covid certificates across Europe only recognise PCR tests for recovery certificates. To prove that you have contracted Covid but have recovered, a person must present a positive PCR test from at least 11 days prior, according to EU rules that were hitherto in force.
However, the Commission notes that some Member States lack PCR screening capacity in the face of the most recent wave, where the Omicron variant became the dominant strain of Covid.
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EU law now allows Member States to grant a "certificate of recovery" based on a rapid antigen test if it has been carried out by a health professional or someone specifically trained for this purpose.
Member States are not obliged to introduce this change but must accept the recovery certificates granted by other countries under the same conditions as for their own citizens.
In Belgium, a recovery certificate is currently valid from the 11th day after a positive PCR test until 180 days after the test.
This rule change comes after many European countries have begun to open their borders and relax travel restrictions. Among the most recent countries to ease Covid measures is the Netherlands, which aims to reopen in three steps.