In light of the development of the epidemiological situation, the European Council calls for further coordination to facilitate free movement within, and travel into, the EU, and for a revision of the two Council recommendations, the EU said.
Brussels: European Union leaders have come out in support of easing COVID-19 movement restrictions as they plan to accelerate mutual recognition of COVID-19 certificates with third countries.
"In light of the development of the epidemiological situation, the European Council calls for further coordination to facilitate free movement within, and travel into, the EU, and for a revision of the two Council recommendations. It encourages the Commission to accelerate its work regarding mutual recognition of certificates with third countries," according to the written conclusions following the first day of the European Council meeting taking place in Brussels from October 21-22.
Currently, the EU and Russia are conducting technical consultations for the mutual recognition of COVID-19 certificates. Moscow has submitted documentation to the EU to verify the compatibility of its system for issuing COVID-19 certificates with the EU one.
The EU's digital COVID-19 certificate system currently has 43 countries connected, including 27 EU member states, three European Economic Area countries, and 12 other countries and territories from outside the bloc. Technical negotiations are underway with 28 more countries.
The certificates were introduced in the EU this summer. They are intended to facilitate the movement of residents within the EU territory. The certificates are issued if the person was fully vaccinated, had a negative test for COVID-19 or has antibodies after recovering from the infection. In total, about 600 million certificates have already been issued.