EU, Vietnam Recognize Covid-19 Vaccine Passport

67 countries and territories, including Vietnam, have already connected to the EU's system, providing their citizens with safer and faster access to the entire European Union

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The European Commission on May 10 confirmed that the digital Covid-19 certificates granted by Vietnam, Indonesia and Seychelles are equivalent to EU digital Covid-19 certificates issued by EU member states, reported VOV Wednesday.

EU, Vietnam Recognise Covid-19 Vaccine Passport
Illustrative photo. Source: VNA

The certificates of the three countries will be connected to the EU’s system, and the EU will accept these certificates with the same conditions as the bloc’s.

The new decision means passengers from Vietnam, Indonesia and Seychelles will be permitted to enter the bloc under the same rules as those who hold EU Digital COVID Certificates (EU DCC).

Meanwhile, Vietnam, Indonesia and Seychelles also agreed to accept the EU DCC.

“With the accession of Indonesia, Seychelles and Vietnam, the number of countries and territories connected to the EU system has increased to 67. Moreover, in view of the summer, the EU certificate will facilitate the movement of Europeans within the EU and beyond. Therefore, while we are happy to see that the situation is improving, the certificate remains a useful tool for many destinations, for example, in case of testing requirements,” said the European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders.

According to the announcement published by the European Commission, the decision took effect as of May 11.

By May 9, Vietnam had injected 215,839,208 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, including 1,885,548 first shots for children from 5 to 11 years old, according to VNA.

More than 10 million people have been granted vaccine passports.

Earlier, Vietnam’s vaccine passport was recognized by 19 countries and territories worldwide, namely Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, India, Belarus, Cambodia, the Philippines, Palestine, Maldives, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Turkey, Singapore, Saint Lucia, the Republic of Korea, Iran and Malaysia.

The EU was ranked the second-most preferred travel destination by Southeast Asians in a recent survey, according to Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster.

The State of Southeast Asia study, released by the ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute, found that 22.5% of respondents favored traveling to Japan, followed by 19.2% to an EU state and 14% to an ASEAN country.

Malaysia’s certificates have been recognized since early April; Thailand’s since December, and Singapore’s since November. Thailand and Malaysia only partnered with the EU Digital Covid Certificate when it was expanded to include 22 non-EU countries in February.

“Equivalence negotiations with some other ASEAN countries are ongoing as it is our shared ambition to restore pre-pandemic connectivity at the earliest possible convenience and to do so in a safe and sustainable manner,” said Igor Driesmans, the EU ambassador to the ASEAN bloc.

He added that the recently agreed EU-ASEAN Comprehensive Air Transportation Agreement, the first bloc-to-bloc aviation deal that should increase the numbers of flights, will provide a “further boost to these efforts.”

The EU DCC is a digital document designed to foster free movement inside the EU by giving proof of the Covid-19 vaccination, test or recovery status of a person. In its external dimension, the EU DCC also allows for safer and faster access to the European Union.

With the development of the external dimension of the EU DCC through the recognition process of Digital COVID Certificates issued by third countries, third-country nationals can enjoy the same travel conditions as the holders of the EU DCC.

Hannah Nguyen