EU says anyone with WHO-approved Covid-19 jabs can enter, ‘digital cert’ not even compulsory

A nurse loads a syringe with a dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at the Dewan Gemilang UKM vaccination centre in Bangi May 5, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
A nurse loads a syringe with a dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at the Dewan Gemilang UKM vaccination centre in Bangi May 5, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 — The European Union (EU) has clarified today that anybody who has received Covid-19 vaccines authorised by its member countries are allowed to enter, following reports that the EU Digital Covid Certificate only approves jabs approved by the bloc.

It added that its member states have also lifted travel restrictions for those who received Covid-19 vaccines that are yet to be approved by the EU, as long as the manufacturers have gone through the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Emergency Use Listing process.

“Entry into the EU is in principle allowed to fully vaccinated persons with one of the vaccines authorised in the EU, including those produced in facilities not covered by marketing authorisation in the EU,” it said in a statement.

“Member States could also allow entry for people vaccinated with vaccines that have not been yet authorised in the EU but have completed the WHO Emergency Use Listing process.

“There is no obstacle or hurdle. Therefore, some recent reporting concerning the AstraZeneca vaccines’ origin is inaccurate,” it added.

The union said that the digital proof of one’s status on Covid-19 dubbed “EU Digital Covid Certificate” is not a prerequisite for travelling in the EU nor a compulsory document, but simply a practical tool.

It added that EU Digital Covid Certificate is not the only tool to be used to travel to the countries under the union as Member States are free to accept other vaccine documentations.

“These should contain information that at least allows identifying the person, the type of vaccine and the date of the administration of the vaccine. Official certificates certifying recovery from Covid-19 or a negative Covid-19 test may also serve as a proof of low epidemiological risk, depending on the legislation in force of the Member State Malaysians wish to visit.

“In addition, it is up to EU Member States to decide which obligations, such as quarantine, may be imposed on incoming travellers,” it added.

The union advised Malaysians who wish to travel to its Member States to check the entry requirements for the countries they wish to visit.

On Monday, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said there is no reason for the EU to “discriminate” between the different AstraZeneca manufacturing locations as all of them adhere to the good manufacturing practice.

This comes as healthcare news portal CodeBlue reported that Malaysians vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine may be barred from entering Europe, as the EU Digital Covid Certificate does not cover AstraZeneca doses made by South Korea’s SK Bioscience or Thailand’s Siam Bioscience — which is used here.

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