Europe recognises more Covid-19 certificates

The EU has agreed to recognise national Covid-19 certificates from Turkey, Ukraine, Switzerland, San Marino, the Vatican City, and North Macedonia. This is good news for medical tourism, as travellers can now travel to and from most EU countries, as long as they are fully vaccinated.

The European Commission equivalence decisions mean these six countries’ certificates will be connected to the bloc-wide EU Digital Covid Certificate system.

EU certificates show whether the bearer is fully vaccinated with vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), has recovered from a Covid-19 infection or has a recent negative Covid-19 test.

All six in turn are accepting the EU’s Covid certificates.

The decisions, however, carry a caveat where it comes to vaccinations. The EU certificate recognises only four vaccines: BioNTech/Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, although each EU country can decide to accept others.

Ukraine’s vaccine portfolio has those four, but also China’s Sinovac. Turkey and North Macedonia both administer Sinovac and another Chinese one, from Sinopharm, as well as Russia’s Sputnik V, which is also not recognised by the EU scheme.

The EU has been working for some time to set up a mutually recognised system with the United States, so far with little progress.

It does not have an equivalence decision with the UK, although many EU countries have unilaterally extended recognition if its certificate, to ease entry for fully vaccinated bearers from the UK.