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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure EU-2021-52/2102 – measures in European Union

Unifying the validity period of vaccination certificates

Country European Union , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 21 December 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Reorientation of business activities
– Creation of platforms for businesses aimed at customer
Author Barbara Surdykowska and Eurofound
Measure added 23 December 2021 (updated 21 January 2022)

Background information

To facilitate safe free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Parliament and the Council adopted the EU COVID digital certificate regulation on 14 June 2021. Reliable data on how long people would be protected after the COVID-19 primary vaccine was not yet available at that time. Therefore, until now, it has been up to the Member States to lay down rules on the period of acceptance of vaccination certificates in the context of travel.

On 21 December 2021, the Commission introduced unified rules for the entire EU.

Content of measure

The rules on the EU COVID digital certificate set a binding period for the recognition of vaccination certificates for intra-EU travel of 9 months (exactly 270 days). In the Commission's view, a clear and uniform acceptance period for vaccination certificates will ensure that travel measures continue to be coordinated and restrictions are based on the best available scientific evidence and objective criteria. The Commission underlines that continuous coordination is essential for the functioning of the Single Market and will provide clarity for EU citizens in exercising their right to free movement.

Under the new EU rules on intra-EU travel, Member States must accept any vaccination certificate that is issued less than nine months after the last primary vaccination dose was given. Member States cannot provide for a shorter or longer acceptance period.

Use of measure

All EU citizens travelling intra EU.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Applies to all businesses Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
EU (Council, EC, EP)
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


The social partners were not involved in the preparation of this initiative.

Views and reactions

The opinion of the employers' is unknown. In the opinion of trade unions (ETUC), it is important that local and mobile (cross-border) workers are treated equally when it comes to COVID-19 restrictions.


  • 21 December 2021: Commission Delegated Regulation on the validity of vaccination certificates issued under the EU Digital COVID Certificate framework (


Eurofound (2021), Unifying the validity period of vaccination certificates, measure EU-2021-52/2102 (measures in European Union), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.