Malta is EU laggard in COVID digital certification process

Malta is one of only three EU member states that’s still not ready to connect to the EU digital COVID certificate gateway (EDCCC), which is planned to come into effect in just 15 days’ time.

Malta, Hungary and Finland are the only members still in the testing phase for the system. All the other EU member states have already connected to the EU gateway, facilitating free movement within the EU, and ready to go as from 1 July.

Without this integration with the EU-wide system, Maltese vaccination certificates won’t qualify for travel within the EU.

Commission sources told The Shift that, as with all the other member states, Malta actively participated in the legislative phase for the introduction of the new system. This has been underway since March, meaning the country had plenty of time to be ‘ready’.

IT industry experts told The Shift: “Because of its small size, Malta could have been among the first to have its IT infrastructure in place to introduce the system. However, for some reason, the island has slid to the bottom of the list, despite the local euphoria around how the government had tackled the Covid crisis.”

“It is now a race against time as it will be very embarrassing for Malta – the smallest member state – not to be ready on 1 July, preventing its citizens from making use of such an efficient system facilitating travel,” they added.

The EUCDD is a digital certificate facility intended to facilitate safe free movement of citizens in the EU during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Countries that are connected to the EU gateway are already able to use it, in time for the 1 July deadline.

The digital certificate, which can be downloaded through a mobile app, will prove that a person has either been vaccinated, received a negative result or recovered from COVID.

It will be issued by national authorities but recognised in all EU member states and Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Iceland and Norway.

Unlike Malta, even the latter non-EU member states are ready and connected to the EU gateway.

All member states will be obliged to accept vaccination certificates through this system from anyone travelling from one member state to another.

                           
                               
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