This issue was raised in relation to vaccines produced by manufacturers that have not yet asked for, or do not intend to ask for, an authorisation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Entry into the European Union (EU) is, in principle, allowed to fully vaccinated persons with one of the vaccines authorised in the EU, said the Delegation of the European Union to Malaysia on Wednesday (7 July).

In its media statement, the organisation reiterated that this includes those produced in facilities not covered by marketing authorisation in the EU such as the AstraZeneca vaccines.

Thus, when it comes to non-essential travel coming from outside of the EU, all 27 members states abide by common guidelines and national restrictions “based on their epidemiological situation”, and not the vaccine that the incoming travellers are inoculated with.

"Member States could also allow entry for people vaccinated with vaccines that have not been yet authorised in the EU but have completed the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use Listing process*.

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

*According to WHO, it is a procedure that streamlines the process by which new or unlicensed products can be used during public health emergencies.

The EU digital COVID certificate

With regard to the digital certificate, the delegation said that it is not a pre-requisite for travelling in the EU or a compulsory document, but “simply a practical tool”.

The certificate is a digital proof that a European citizen or resident has been vaccinated against COVID-19, or has received a negative test or has recovered from Covid-19, the delegation explained.

That said, the EU digital COVID certificate is not the only tool that can be used and assessed with when it comes to non-essential travel. The delegation shared that member states are free to accept other 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,” the Delegation of the European Union to Malaysia said.

Further, it is up to member states to decide which obligations, such as quarantine, may be imposed on incoming travellers. There are, however, no common list of entry requirements, the delegation shared.

“Malaysians who wish to travel to the EU need to check the entry requirements for the member state(s) they wish to visit.

“They need to be aware also that these are likely to change over time depending on the development of the pandemic in both the EU and Malaysia,” the delegation said.

Image / 123RF

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