On 17 March 2021, the European Commission published a proposal to create a Digital Green Certificate (DGC) to facilitate free movement inside the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic. The DGC is meant to provide proof that a person has been vaccinated, received a negative test result or recovered from the virus.
Member States remain responsible for determining which public health restrictions will be waived for foreign travelers (e.g., a waiver of quarantine requirements), but they will have to apply such waivers in the same way to travelers holding a DGC.
EU authorities aim to have the DGC system operational by the end of June 2021. The proposed regulation should enter into force 21 June 2021, with a transition period of six weeks for the national implementation of the DGC by Member States.
The Netherlands intends to implement the DGC in the CoronaCheck App. This means that citizens only have to use the CoronaCheck App to generate a test, recovery or vaccination certificate.
The Dutch Minister of Public Health informed the House of Representatives that he foresees three application opportunities:
- for inbound travelers, to provide a waiver for the quarantine requirement and/or a waiver for the mandatory negative test for travelers from high risk areas;
- for outbound travelers, when they need proof of vaccination for international travel;
- in country, as an alternative proof of a negative test result, required to participate in certain activities and access certain facilities.
The Dutch government aims to implement the DGC as soon as possible, after the respective EU Regulation has entered into force. However, the Minister of Public Health does not want to lose any time considering that the summer holiday period will start shortly thereafter. He anticipates that the Dutch Cabinet will be able to present its intended decision for review to the House of Representative in early June.