Saturday, May 29, 2021

Bulgaria Ready to Introduce EU Digital COVID-19 Passport

The Ministry of Health of Bulgaria has announced that the country is ready to introduce the EU Digital COVID-19 Passport, which would enable Bulgarian citizens to move freely and safely within the European Union and Schengen Area.

The same has revealed that the state-owned Information Service IT company has conducted several tests and has completed the incorporation of the Bulgarian system with the one from the European Commission, meaning that the passports to be issued in Bulgaria will be compatible with those of other EU countries.

Based on the regulation, the law on the passport will enter into force on July 1, and the Central System is anticipated to start operating on June 1, reports.

The European Parliament and the Council have already reached an agreement regarding the establishment of the EU Digital COVID-19 Passport and have assured that the passport will be ready by the end of June.

Nonetheless, the old certificates will continue to remain valid in Bulgaria until August 12, 2021, in order to avoid crowds of people who wish to obtain the new version of their existing certificates.

Each country’s national authorities will be in charge of issuing the passport, which according to the EU Commission, will establish whether a person:

  • Has been vaccinated against the COVID-19
  • Has recovered from the virus
  • Has recently received a negative Coronavirus test result

The three passport options will contain a QR code used to verify the authenticity of the certificates and to check their validity.

Furthermore, the EU Commission pointed out that the passport will be available in both digital and paper format, and it will be free of charge.

The vaccination certificate is expected to include information on the basic demographic data of the holder, the International Classification of Medical Products code, the trade name of the product, the manufacturer, the vaccination date, the batch, the administration country, and so on.

On the other hand, the negative test result document gives information on the type, date and the results of the test, the manufacturer, and the laboratory where the test was performed. At the same time, the certificate of recovery will consist of information on the date of the first positive COVID-19 test result and the certificate’s validity.

Still, only vaccination certificates will be issued in the beginning, while the other two will be fully effective after mid-June.

The Digital COVID-19 Passport regulation is expected to be effective for 12 months. However, the passport will not be a precondition to travel or considered a travel document.

Earlier today, it was reported that Estonia has also become one of the first countries to join the EU digital COVID-19 Passport as the country has been working on the passport since October 2020.

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