BRUSSELS

The European Commission proposed an extension Wednesday for EU digital coronavirus certificates until June 30, 2023.

“The COVID-19 virus continues to be prevalent in Europe and at this stage it is not possible to determine the impact of a possible increase in infections in the second half of 2022 or of the emergence of new variants,” the EU’s executive body said in a statement.

The digital pass facilitates travel between EU countries and other members of the Schengen area by proving that a traveler had been vaccinated, tested negative within the past 48 hours or recovered from the virus.

The European Commission’s new draft is a reflection of lessons learned in the past seven months and proposes to accept high-quality laboratory-based antigen as an alternative to PCR tests and to feature all vaccines in the pass, even if they were administered in different member states or during clinical trials of a jab.

The European Parliament and EU member states have to give the green light for the amendment in five months to extend the regulation on the coronavirus pass.

The EU introduced the digital certificate on July 1, 2021.

In addition to the 27 EU member states, 33 countries and territories, including Turkiye, joined the bloc’s digital certificate system.

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