Discussions on the expiration date for the EU Digital COVID Certificate, which has brought tourism, which is one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic, to its former momentum, continue. Private Viromed Laboratories Ankara Responsible Manager Prof. Dr. Ayşegül Akbay said on the subject, "In case the pandemic does not decrease until the summer of 2022 and the certificate is not extended, additional restrictions on free movement may be encountered."
While the world is experiencing a major global health problem with COVID-19, travel and tourism are the sectors most affected by this situation. According to the table of the World Tourism Organization, which provides up-to-date data on the subject, while travels based in the Middle East have decreased by 2019% since 82, this figure shows 77% in Europe and 68% in America. Against this decline in tourism during the pandemic, with the Digital COVID-1 Certificate, which was put into effect on July 2021, 20 by the European Commission and accepted in Turkey on August 2021, 19, international travel returns to normal, while discussions about the validity period of the certificate remain on the agenda. Making a statement on the subject, Private Viromed Laboratories Ankara Responsible Manager Prof. Dr. Ayşegül Akbay said, “If the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate is not extended, this may lead to additional restrictions on free movement, as citizens will be deprived of social security.”
“COVID Certificate is the first example of electronic record”
Ayşegül Akbay said, “When the COVID Certificate was first proposed by the European Commission in March 2021, many people expressed skepticism about the commission's plans to have the system up and running in time for the summer. However, it took only 3 months for the European Parliament and the council to reach an agreement and the EU institutions and member states acted together, proving that the certificate had a great share in reducing the impact of the pandemic on society and economies. With this certification, travel has been made easy and critical progress has been made to support Europe's hard-hit tourism industry. The EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate is being used in countries around the world as a global standard worldwide. "Currently, it is the only system that works internationally, and it is the first example of an interoperable electronic record that has been widely deployed in a very short time."
“Travels will be limited in any case”
Stating that according to the survey published by Eurobarometer in September 2021, two out of 3 respondents (65%) consider the EU Digital COVID Certificate as the safest way to travel free in Europe under pandemic conditions. Dr. Ayşegül Akbay said: “As it is known, in the system including Turkey, certificates can be obtained free of charge in a digital and paper-based format and can be read by both humans and machines. The EU Digital COVID Certificate shows that at this point it is possible to develop a system that is secure and protects privacy and data. A report will be submitted to the EU by the commission until 30 March 2022 for the extension of the certificate date valid until 31 June 2022. If the EU Digital COVID Certificate is not extended, this may also lead to additional restrictions on free movement, as citizens will be deprived of effective social security. However, time will in any case be limited, as the aim of the commission is to return to unrestricted free circulation as soon as the epidemiological situation permits.”