Member states of the European Union are now able to issue Covid-19 recovery certificates also based on positive rapid antigen test results, the European Commission announced on Tuesday.
Previously, EU countries could issue recovery certificates only based on RT-PCR test results.
According to the Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, the EU Digital COVID Certificate continues to evolve as the situation demands.
“In order to facilitate the free movement, in particular of citizens infected during the Omicron wave, Member States are now able to issue recovery certificates also based on high-quality rapid antigen tests,” Reynders said.
The Commission said that certificates can also be issued retroactively for tests carried out from 1 October 2021.
In order to ensure accuracy and reliability, rapid antigen tests used to issue recovery certificates must be on the EU common list of rapid antigen detection tests for COVID-19 and also must be performed by healthcare professionals or by qualified personnel.
“Our common list of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests enables Member States to quickly identify high-quality tests validated by independent evaluation studies of the EU,” the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, said.
“Based on this list, Member States will now also be able to use rapid antigen tests to issue recovery certificates and relieve some of the significant pressure on national testing capacities due to the emergence of Omicron. We are committed to ensuring that the EU digital certificate follows the latest developments and scientific advice,” Kyriakides added.
According to the Commission, the new rules apply immediately and Member States can start issuing recovery certificates based on rapid antigen tests as soon as they are ready.