SARAJEVO, February 3 (FENA) – The EU member states, with the support of the European Commission, adopted guidelines on January 28, on the necessary evidence of vaccination in order to harmonize the content of these certificates and establish a minimum amount of data for each certificate.
The aim is to avoid cases in which the Member States would not recognize each other’s vaccination documentation, as was the case with the Covid-19 tests when some EU countries did not recognize each other’s tests, and to avoid closing of the borders and allowing freedom of movement.
But in that sense, there have not yet been talks of making the vaccine mandatory or making Covid passports mandatory for all travelers.
The Council of the European Union concluded with the heads of states that they should continue working on a standardized and interoperable form of evidence of vaccination, while the circumstances when these certificates could be used would be determined later on, FENA learns from the European Commission.
However, the European Commission could not say more about the conditions for entry into the Schengen area in the future, while EU member states currently apply temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU for the countries outside the EU (except from a small number of countries) which also affects visa issuing.
“This is happening independently of vaccination and currently there is no European requirement for vaccination to obtain a visa, and for now, we cannot announce a potential change in these rules,”- it is said in the explanation.
The current status of vaccination certificates and their recognition is being actively discussed with the Member States, primarily as a health policy instrument, which could be expanded globally in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO).
The European Commission says that, although it is premature to anticipate the use of vaccination certificates for purposes other than health care, the European Union in the future may facilitate other cross-border applications of such certificates.
After EU member states adopted the guidelines that will regulate the design and content of vaccination certificates, while the process of immunization has not yet begun in Bosnia and Herzegovina, some political parties called on the authorities to use the time right now and harmonize the BiH vaccination certificates with the EU guidelines.
This work needs to be done so that the consequences would not be borne by the citizens by compromising the visa-free regime and restricting their travel to the countries of the European Union.
The Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina should coordinate between the Ministry of Health and Social Care of the entity of Republika Srpska, the FBiH Ministry of Health, and the Brčko District Health Department to harmonize future immunization certificates with the EU guidelines.
The European Union has given the possibility for certificates to be in physical or digital format, and to ensure the protection of personal data.
On the other hand, EU member states have decided to demand a negative Covid-19 test on all trips to the EU from third countries.
The Council of the EU stated that the Member states should require persons traveling for any essential or non-essential reason, with the exception of transport and frontier workers, to have a negative PCR test taken at the earliest 72 hours before departure.