The digital age of tourism is gaining momentum: now a digital covid certificate has become synonymous with an open and secure Europe for tourism. In its latest report on the EU’s COVID-19 digital certificate, the European Commission has shown that this document, without which it has become impossible to travel in Europe, has played a significant role in the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Schengenvisainfo, more than 591 million certificates have been created so far. In a press release issued on October 18, the EU Commission explained that the code certificate, which includes information on vaccinations, the disease and the results of tests of their owners, significantly secured travel. In addition, the document has also become a key component of supporting Europe’s tourism sector, which has been hit hard by the pandemic.
The EU’s COVID-19 digital certificate, despite its rigidity, has been mastered by many countries, thus setting a global standard for the digitalisation of tourism. This medical application is the only system currently operating internationally.
“The EU’s COVID digital certificate system has helped mitigate the negative economic consequences of a pandemic. It has also given travelers confidence that they can travel safely in the EU, and has increased the number of trips this summer, ”said EU Commissioner Didier Reinders.
Currently, 43 countries are already connected to the EU system, of which 27 are EU member states, three of them – countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) and 12 other territories and countries. In addition, a total of 60 third countries have expressed interest in joining the EU COVID-19 system. With the exception of those already successfully connected to the system, 28 of these 60 countries are still in the process of being attached.
In addition to the holders of the COVID-19 certificate, who were able to travel freely and use such a document, the air transport sector also benefited significantly from the certificate, which came into force just before the summer season. The International Airport Council (ACI Europe) reported that only in July 2021 the number of passengers increased by more than 50% compared to July 2020. This change in numbers is mainly due to the introduction of the EU digital certificate, as well as the easing of travel restrictions.
“The EU’s COVID digital certificate is a symbol of an open and secure Europe. The rapid deployment of the system, not only in the EU but also internationally, is an example of EU cooperation and emergency assistance, ”said Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides.
In addition, according to a survey conducted by the EU Parliament, 65% of those surveyed agreed that the app is the safest way to travel during a COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on EU member states to harmonize their requirements for digital code certificates and entry rules. The association warned that due to various requirements and rules, the free movement of EU tourists within this area is under threat.