Residents of Cabo Verde, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates who have been vaccinated against the Coronavirus with both required doses and who hold a vaccination certificate issued by the relevant authorities in their country can soon enter the European Union Member States restriction-free.

Such a thing may soon happen as the European Commission has recognised the vaccination certificates issued by these three countries as equivalent to the EU Digital COVID Certificate in three separate decisions issued on December 10. However, it is up to the Member States when they want to start accepting the certificates of these three countries.

“As a result, the three countries will be connected to the EU’s system, and their certificates will be accepted under the same conditions as the EU Digital COVID Certificate,” a press release of the Commission explains, adding that the decisions become effective on the same day they were adopted.

The Commission also explains that the authorities of Cabo Verde, Lebanon and the UAE, too, have agreed to permit entry for EU nationals holding the EU Digital COVID Certificate.

Commenting on the decisions, the EU’s Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, reiterated that now over 55 countries and territories in five continents have joined the system.

“The EU Digital COVID Certificate is unique, and that’s why 55 countries and territories in five continents have joined the system so far with more than 750 million certificates issued. Even if we have a difficult time with COVID-19 variants, we need the certificate; it has served in the past and will continue to serve in the future to help people to travel safely,” the Commissioner said.

Travellers from all these three countries, as well as the other 52, must check whether their vaccine is approved in the EU/Schengen country they are travelling to in order for them to be eligible to enter that country.

Vaccine validity can be checked through the vaccine-checker tool developed by VisaGuide.World, which helps travellers to verify whether the vaccine they have been immunised with is recognised by their destination country.

Aside from Cabo Verde, Lebanon and the UAE, vaccine certificates issued by the following third countries are also recognised as equivalent  to the EU Digital COVID Certificate:

  1. Albania
  2. Armenia
  3. Faroes
  4. Georgia
  5. Israel
  6. Moldova
  7. Morocco
  8. North Macedonia
  9. Panama
  10. Serbia
  11. Singapore
  12. Turkey
  13. Togo
  14. Ukraine

The 26 Schengen Area countries, the EU Member Countries that are not part of the Schengen Area – Ireland, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria and Cyprus – are connected to the system, as well as the European microstates of Andorra, Monaco, Vatican City and San Marino are also part of it.

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