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Information on the EU Digital COVID certificate



As of July 1st 2021, regulations regarding the EU Digital COVID Certificate entered into force.

Relevant legislation:

  • REGULATION (EU) 2021/953 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 14th June 2021 on a framework for the issuance, verification and acceptance of interoperable COVID-19 vaccination, test, and recovery certificates (EU Digital COVID Certificate) to facilitate free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic (EU Regulation)
    • the regulation sets out the framework for the issuance, verification, and acceptance of the EU Digital COVID Certificate, in order to ease for the holders thereof the exercise of their right to free movement during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

  • Government Decree Nr. 366/2021(VI. 30.) on certain issues related to the issuance of the EU Digital COVID Certificate during the state of emergency
    • the legislation sets out the rules of the domestic issuance of the EU Digital COVID Certificate in accordance with EU regulations.

ISSUANCE OF THE EU DIGITAL COVID CERTIFICATE IN HUNGARY

In Hungary, the body responsible for the issuance of the EU Digital COVID Certificate is the Government Office of the Capital City of Budapest, which performs this task with the involvement of the operator of the Electronic Health Services Area (EESZT) as a data processor.

 

The COVID certificate may be issued by the issuing body in electronic or paper form, based on the data available in the EESZT.

 

The paper-based certificate shall be authentic even without the signature of the person entitled to issue the certificate and without the stamp of the issuing body, provided that it complies with the conditions laid down in the EU Regulation, and that the data contained therein is confirmed through the scanning of the interoperable barcode according to the EU Regulation with an IT device.

 

Following identification, which the Government is obliged to provide through an electronic identification service, persons with a social security number may also request the electronic digital COVID certificate in a mobile application and in a format that can be downloaded from the EESZT portal.

 

The vaccination certificate referred to in Article 5 of the EU Regulation may also be obtained online using the data pursuant to Section 2, point g) of Government Decree Nr. 60/2021 (II. 12.) on the verification of protection against the coronavirus using the immunity certificate of the person concerned (hereinafter referred to as: Gov. Decree 60/2021).

 

Following identification, which the Government is obliged to provide through an electronic identification service, the paper-based certificate can be printed out from the EESZT Residential Portal by the person concerned. This certificate is authentic if it complies with the conditions laid down in EU Regulation, and if the data contained therein is confirmed through the scanning of the interoperable barcode according to the EU Regulation with an IT device.

 

In addition, the person concerned may also apply for the digital COVID certificate in person or by filing a written application with the issuing body. The application must include the natural identification data of the person concerned and their social security number, if applicable. If the person concerned does not have a social security number, the application must include the number of the person's official identity card that was given to the health care provider during their medical treatment of the circumstance giving rise to the issuance of the digital COVID certificate under the EU Regulation.

 

The certificate issued electronically shall be sent by the issuing body to the delivery service repository of the person concerned, while the paper-based certificate shall be handed over in person, so long as the person concerned or their representative is present, and the legal conditions of the issuance exist. Failing this, the certificate shall be delivered by post.

 

If, in the course of its procedure, the issuing body finds that the data stored in the EESZT of the person concerned do not correspond those listed on the application, the issuing body shall immediately request the extraordinary reconciliation, review, and correction of the data stored in the EESZT by the health care provider acting in the course of the medical treatment of the circumstance giving rise to the issuance of the digital COVID certificate. The health care provider shall expedite any review or correction of the data, to be completed no later than within 72 hours of the request. The person concerned may be involved in this procedure, if necessary.

 

The content and format of the digital COVID certificate sent by the issuing body shall be identical to that of the COVID certificate that can be downloaded or printed.

 

In the case of applications for a digital COVID certificate, the government office acts on behalf of the issuing body on the basis of Section 48 (1) of the Government Decree Nr. 86/2019 (IV. 23.) on capital and county government offices and district (capital district) offices.

 

If a vaccination certificate has been issued in a third country for the administration of a COVID-19 vaccine referred to in the EU Regulation (see Article 5 (5) paragraph 2), and the authorities of the Member State have received all the necessary information, including reliable evidence on the vaccination, those authorities may issue the vaccination certificate to the person concerned upon request. Member States are not required to issue a vaccination certificate for a COVID-19 vaccine that is not authorized for use in their territory. The rules applying for the issuance of a vaccination certificate upon such request shall be effective from 9th August 2021. The application for the issuance of a vaccination certificate may be submitted by a person who:

 

  • is entitled to an immunity certificate in accordance with Gov. Decree 60/2021 in respect of their vaccination received abroad, OR
  • possesses an immunity certificate issued by a country, the immunity certificate of which is recognized by Hungary, and this fact has been established by the decree of the Minister responsible for Foreign Policy in agreement with the Minister responsible for Border Police.

 

The issuance of the digital COVID certificate can only be requested by the person concerned at the issuing body or at a government office acting on behalf of the issuing body. The application must include the natural identification data of the person concerned, the number of the official identity card, as well as the proof of vaccination, issued in the Hungarian or the English language, by a foreign authority or the health care provider administering the vaccination. Failing this, an authentic Hungarian translation of any certificate in another foreign language must be provided, so long as the certificate includes the content set out in points (c) to (j) of paragraph 1 of the Annex to the EU Regulation. Where the administration of a vaccine authorized in Hungary and used to vaccinate the population is verified by the issuing body, they shall issue the COVID certificate. When the COVID certificate is issued in this way, it will only be available in paper format, and not electronically.

 

The paper-based COVID certificate shall be printed out for the person concerned by their GP upon request, except for a vaccination certificate issued on the basis of vaccinations received in a third country.

WHAT RIGHTS DOES THE EU DIGITAL COVID CERTIFICATE PROVIDE?

The exercise of the right to free movement between Member States without restriction

 

The primary aim of the EU Digital COVID Certificate is to ease the exercise of right to free movement between Member States for citizens of EU Member States during the coronavirus.

 

The possession of the EU Digital COVID Certificate allows for unrestricted travel between Member States. The EU Digital COVID Certificate will be accepted in all EU Member States. It will help to ensure that restrictions on entry can be lifted in a coordinated manner across the EU. As a general rule, the holder of the EU Digital COVID Certificate will be exempted from the epidemiological restrictions and can travel freely within the EU, and Member States should refrain from imposing additional travel restrictions on the holders of an EU Digital COVID Certificate, unless they are necessary and proportionate for the safeguard of public health.

 

Pursuant to the above, travel into Hungary may occur without restrictions for those in possession of the EU Digital COVID Certificate, as the restrictions established by Gov. Decree no. 408/2020. (VIII. 30.) on the travel restrictions of the epidemiological preparedness shall not apply to persons holding an EU Digital COVID Certificate who upon entering into Hungary :

 

  • verify that they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus at least once with a vaccine authorised by the European Medicines Agency, a vaccine listed on the World Health Organisation’s list of vaccines authorised for emergency use, or a vaccine authorised by Hungary and used for the vaccination of the population, and that one year from the first vaccination has not elapsed, or
  • verify that they are protected due to going through the infection, or
  • verify with a test no older than 72 hours that the coronavirus was not detectable in their system at the time of the test.

 

Persons may be considered protected due to going through the infection if the EU Digital COVID Certificate verifies that at least 15 days but no more than 180 days has elapsed since the last positive PCR or antigen test.

 

Using services available upon verification of protection against the coronavirus

 

In Hungary, until reaching the five million five hundred thousandth vaccination, only persons protected against the coronavirus and persons under the age of 18 under their supervision may stay at accommodation establishments, consume the food and beverages purchased inside catering establishments, and visit recreational facilities. Visiting sporting events, cultural events, music and dance events, events with attendance of 500 or more people organised outside, and other events organised in a closed space is also contingent upon verifying protection. As of 1st July 2021, protection against the coronavirus can also be verified with the EU Digital COVID Certificate, therefore the possession of the EU Digital COVID Certificate allows for the use of all services that require the verification of protection.

 

The possibilities to verify protection are as follows:

 

  • immunity certificate issued by the Hungarian authority or EESZT application in accordance with Gov. Decree no. 60/2021. (II. 12.);
  • foreign immunity certificate recognized by Hungary;
  • as of 1st July 2021, EU Digital COVID Certificate.

 

Pursuant to Government Decree no. 484/2020 (XI. 10.) on the second stage of protective measures applicable during the state of emergency, as of 1st July 2021, it is considered equivalent to the presentation of the immunity certificate if non-Hungarian citizens or Hungarian citizens with no residence in Hungary use the EU Digital COVID Certificate to:

 

  • verify that they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus at least once with a vaccine authorised by the European Medicines Agency, a vaccine listed on the World Health Organisation’s list of vaccines authorised for emergency use, or a vaccine authorised by Hungary and used for the vaccination of the population, and that one year from the first vaccination has not elapsed, or
  • verify that they are protected due to going through the infection.

 

Significant facilitations will take effect with respect to using services upon reaching the five million five hundred thousandth vaccination, and the obligation to verify protection will remain in effect only for mass events. The EU Digital COVID Certificate is also suitable for verifying protection with regards to these events.