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The European Parliament has agreed to keep the EU Digital Covid Certificate in place until June 2023.
The decision to extend the use of the Covid certificate will affect millions of British tourists as many are going on their summer holidays in the next weeks.
The European Parliament believes the rate of coronavirus is still too high for the travel certificate to be lifted.
The Covid Certificate regulation is now set to expire on June 30, 2023.
However, a mid-term review could take place before then.
This means the rule could potentially be lifted before then if coronavirus cases go down.
Britons travelling to Europe need to show their NHS Covid Pass as it is now accepted in most EU countries.
The EU confirmed: “To ensure that EU citizens can benefit from their right to free movement regardless of the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EP plenary has endorsed the Civil Liberties Committee’s decision to open negotiations with the member states to prolong the EU Digital Covid Certificate (EUDCC) scheme – set to expire on June 30 – for another 12 months.
“The plenary voted to approve negotiations on the extension with 432 votes in favour, 130 against, and 23 abstaining (EU citizens) and 441 votes in favour, 132 against, and 20 abstaining (third-country nationals).”
The Members of European Parliament also amended the proposals to stress that member states should avoid additional restrictions to the freedom of movement for Covid Certificate holders, unless absolutely necessary.
If restrictions are needed, they should be limited and proportionate, based on the latest scientific advice from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the EU Health Security Committee, they explained.
They also ask the Commission to assess if the Covid Certificate scheme is necessary and proportionate six months after its extension.
The EU added: “Negotiations with the Council to agree on the extension can begin immediately, so that the rules are in place before the current scheme expires on June 30.”
The creation of the EU Digital Covid Certificate (EUDCC) was adopted in June 2021 to facilitate free movement in Europe during the pandemic, for a limited period of 12 months.
Additional reporting from Rita Sobot
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