BRUSSELS – As of today, COVID certificates issued by North Macedonia will be accepted in the EU under the same conditions as the EU Digital COVID Certificate, while the process of other Western Balkan countries connecting to EU’s system is ongoing, European Commission confirms for European Western Balkans
The Commission adopted yesterday three equivalence decisions for North Macedonia, Turkey and Ukraine. This means that the countries will be connected to the EU’s system. They have also agreed to accept the EU Digital COVID Certificate for travel from the EU to their countries.
“North Macedonia is the first Western Balkan partner to be linked up to the EU Digital COVID Certificate. Since the very beginning, the EU has shown its commitment to treat the Western Balkan region as privileged partners by associating them with the Union’s mechanisms and instruments in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic”, EU Spokesperson stated for our portal.
The Commission looks forward to Western Balkan partners connecting to the system.
“We held exploratory meetings with all of them and the process is ongoing, we hope to see more connecting soon. We are glad to see that the EU is setting a trend here and a technological leadership”, the Spokesperson said.
The EU Digital COVID Certificate Regulation entered into application on 1 July 2021. It is a digital proof that a person has either been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result or recovered from COVID-19.
When travelling, the EU Digital COVID Certificate holder should in principle be exempted from free movement restrictions: Member States should refrain from imposing additional travel restrictions on the holders of an EU Digital COVID Certificate, unless they are necessary and proportionate to safeguard public health.
The same status is now enjoyed by the persons holding the certificate of North Macedonia, Ukraine and Turkey.
“I am pleased to see that the list of countries implementing a system based on the EU Digital COVID Certificate is growing steadily and we are setting standards internationally. This will help to facilitate safe travel, also beyond the borders of our Union”, Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders said yesterday.
Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi stressed that the EU partners were an integral part of opening up safely together.
“I welcome Ukraine, North Macedonia and Turkey in our Digital COVID Certificate system and look forward to more of our neighbours connecting soon”, the Commissioner said.