Tuesday 16 Jul 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (July 7): The European Union’s (EU) Digital Covid Certificate is not a prerequisite for travelling across member nations, the union’s diplomatic mission here clarified today.

The certificate is not a compulsory document but simply a practical tool, the Delegation of the EU to Malaysia said in a statement to clarify concerns related to vaccines produced by manufacturers that have yet to obtain the authorisation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The statement said some of the recent media reports concerning the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines’ origin are inaccurate.

These reports had stated that Malaysians who received the AstraZeneca vaccine may not be able to travel freely within Europe as the EU purportedly only recognises vaccines approved by the EMA, and that the approval does not cover the AstraZeneca vaccine made in Thailand, South Korea and Japan.

Malaysia has administered AstraZeneca vaccines produced in South Korea and Thailand, while Japan has just donated one million doses of
AstraZeneca vaccines to the country.

The EU Delegation said the Digital Covid Certificate is not the only tool that can be used, and member states are free to accept the documentation issued in third countries for vaccination.

“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,” it added.

The EU Delegation explained that the 27 member states have agreed common guidelines for non-essential travel from outside the EU, but may
introduce national restrictions based on their epidemiological situation.

“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.

“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,” it said.

The UE delegation stressed that since there is no common list of requirements, Malaysians who wish to travel to the EU need to check the
entry requirements for the member states they wish to visit.

Malaysian travellers also need to be aware that these are likely to change over time depending on the development of the pandemic in both the EU and Malaysia, it said.

“Nevertheless, the launch of the EU Digital Covid Certificate now makes possible the formal equivalence of Covid-19 certificates between Malaysia and the EU. This possibility will be explored with the competent Malaysian authorities in days to come,” it added.

Edited ByS Kanagaraju
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