Digital Covid-19 certificates aimed at facilitating free movement in the European Union came into force across the bloc on Thursday, a long-awaited milestone for countries hoping to boost their ailing tourism industries.
Free movement is a key pillar of European integration, and E.U. officials said last month that the certificates would “again enable citizens to enjoy this most tangible and cherished of E.U. rights.”
Through a Q.R. code issued by their country of residence, certificate holders will be able to show that they have been either fully vaccinated, tested negative or have immunity after a recent recovery. That will exempt them from most travel or quarantine restrictions.
Many European governments have already eased such rules, and each member nation can still revive protective measures if a country’s health situation deteriorates. Germany, for instance, has imposed restrictions on travelers coming from Portugal, which has faced a surge of new cases driven by the spread of the Delta variant.