EU and Swiss agree on COVID-19 vaccine certificate recognition

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The European Union and Switzerland will recognize each other’s COVID-19 vaccination certificates from Friday, the European Commission announced on Thursday.

This month, 27 EU member states along with Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein adopted common standards to read digital coronavirus certificates.

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Proof of vaccination or acquired immunity via a recognized certificate can help travelers avoid restrictions like quarantine on arrival.

But member states remain in charge of their own border rules, and reserve the right to impose emergency controls if the epidemic situation deteriorates.

“I warmly welcome that the Swiss authorities have decided to implement a system based on the EU Digital COVID Certificate,” EU justice commissioner Didier Reynders said.

“As a result, the certificate will not only facilitate free movement within the EU, but also between the EU and Switzerland.

“This will allow EU citizens and Swiss nationals to travel safely and more freely this summer.”

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The EU document -- essentially a QR code available on smartphones or paper -- shows whether the bearer is vaccinated, recovered from an infection or recently tested negative.

The EU is in talks with several countries from outside the EU and the EAA economic area, including Britain and Russia, about recognizing each other’s certificates.

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