EU decides to recognise Turkey's coronavirus pass system
The European Union will accept Turkish coronavirus certificates as of Aug. 20, the European Commission announced on Thursday.
The EU executive body adopted equivalence decisions for the coronavirus certificates issued by the authorities of Turkey, North Macedonia, and Ukraine.
With the decision, Turkey joins the bloc’s coronavirus pass system ensuring free travel to and within the bloc.
People holding a coronavirus certificate issued by Turkey will be allowed to travel into the bloc with the same conditions as EU citizens as of Friday.
In return, EU citizens will also be able to use their coronavirus passes when entering Turkey.
“As we fight the pandemic together, our partners are also an integral part of opening up safely together,” EU Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi commented on the decision, welcoming Turkey, Ukraine, and North Macedonia in the bloc’s Digital COVID Certificate system.
The document is available on smartphone or paper format, featuring a QR code that allows authorities to determine the COVID status of the traveler.
The pass proves if a person had received all the recommended doses of vaccine approved by the European Medicine Agency (EMA), had a negative PCR-test over the past 72 hours, or recovered from the illness in the last six months.
The EMA-authorized vaccines are the products of pharma companies Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, CureVac, and Johnson & Johnson.
In practical terms, it means that Turkish citizens who received both jabs of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines more than 14 days ago, or those who can prove with former coronavirus tests that they had recovered, may enter the bloc without further restrictions.
Those, who have not been vaccinated will have to take a test, while those inoculated with Sinovac will have to check the entry requirements at the destination country.