Residents can not believe – after two vaccinations, the European certificate works in EU countries, but not in Lithuania: experts explain

Daiva, a reader, said that she did not understand why the European digital COVID-19 certificate for two doses had been used in many European Union (EU) countries, but not in Lithuania.

“Lithuania is not an EU country? Not only those living in Lithuania, but also those who have flown back from abroad are not allowed into shops, ”the woman explains.

Daiva Bumblytė, a representative of the Center of Registers, informs that this is related to the changes on December 28.

According to her, although by common agreement the EU digital COVID certificate should be valid for 9 months after the full course of vaccination, each country may apply different conditions for the validity of the certificate and different validity periods.

“However, until the amendment on 28 December, the government decided that the algorithms for the passport and the EU digital certificate needed to be harmonized. Consequently, if until now the EU certificate was valid with two vaccines, then from 28 days the European certificate is subject to the same rule as the passport – if more than seven months have passed after a full vaccination without a booster dose, it will not be valid in Lithuania. In other countries, the EU certificate is valid, but in Lithuania it is not, because the procedure for the validity of these documents in Lithuania is unified, ”says D. Bumblytė.

Sends an important message to testers

The Department of Health (SAM) confirms that, as of December 28, the vaccination and transmission parts of the EU digital COVID certificate are valid for domestic activities, but the testing part is not valid.

“The validity of EU digital COVID certificates, which can unambiguously establish that a person has been vaccinated with a booster vaccine (ie certificates marked 3/3 Pfizer or Moderna or certificates marked 2/2 Janssen), will be unlimited, as in the case of a passport. The validity of the EU digital COVID certificate can be checked with the verification program, ”the representatives of the ministry inform.

“It is known that the opportunity passport is generated after a paid PCR test. Meanwhile, a free PCR test is enough for a European digital certificate to travel.

However, in Lithuania, a PCR test is available for use in accordance with the rules of the passport. Therefore, even if a free PCR test is performed in order to travel, a person can be shown to be able to travel abroad, but it does not work in Lithuania because there is a free PCR test, ”adds D. Bumblytė.

The SAM website states that the EU Digital COVID Certificate (Vaccination and Illness) in Lithuania covers all the freedoms provided for in the Opportunity Passport. This certificate (in all its parts) is available to travelers in EU countries and their services (depending on the country of destination).

“However, the EU Digital COVID Certificate is more strictly regulated, so it will be easier for the population if they use the Opportunity Passport in Lithuania and use the EU Digital COVID Certificate when traveling. It is also important to note that the testing part of the EU Digital COVID Certificate in Lithuania does not grant the right to use the services provided only with the opportunity passport, ”it states.

Changes from January 10th

From now on, the antibody test will no longer be eligible for a passport if it is performed by a person who has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the government decided on Wednesday. Such a decision is based on the fact that it is not known during the spread of the omicron strain whether the presence of antibodies is sufficient protection and for how long such protection is valid.

At present, the passport is also issued to individuals who have received a positive (when anti-S, anti-S1 or anti-RBD IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2) less than 60 days ago quantitative or semi-quantitative serological immunological test response. Serological testing is now waived as an option for obtaining a passport if a person is vaccinated with COVID-19. The resolution is proposed to enter into force on 10 January. It is true that a transitional period is provided for allowing persons with a positive antibody test received before the date of entry into force of this Decree to be contacted for 60 days from the date of such test, following the COVID-19 vaccination.

“Experts in the council presented the research carried out on the effectiveness of vaccines also for those who have been ill, so there are no recommendations for that. That doesn’t change anything, that opportunity will continue until we get some additional scientific data. But for vaccinated people, the evidence, given the omicron strain, is that the real alternative here may not be very good, because the interest should be that as many people as possible have a fresh vaccine for those who do not have a new immune system. ” The Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė spoke during the meeting.

The procedure for issuing the opportunity passport has changed

We remind you that from December 28, COVID-19 vaccinations will expire for children over the age of 12, and vaccinated workers must receive a booster dose or be tested regularly.

The opportunity passport is valid indefinitely when the person:

  • has been vaccinated with a booster vaccine approved in Lithuania against COVID-19 (persons under 18 years of age are not currently vaccinated with a booster dose);
  • has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and vaccinated according to the full schedule;
  • A person aged 16-18 has been vaccinated according to the full scheme or has become ill and vaccinated;

The passport is valid for a limited time when the person:

  • is vaccinated but not according to the full scheme; has developed COVID-19 and has been vaccinated but not in full;
  • is co-infected with COVID-19 but has not been vaccinated;
  • not earlier than 72 hours. performed a paid PCR test and obtained a negative result.

Opportunity passport for children

Also from December 28th. the opportunity passport becomes mandatory for children from 12 years of age and two months and 16 years of age. The Opportunity Passport will be issued to children who have had COVID-19, have been vaccinated against the virus or are being tested regularly.

Under the full scheme, children who have been vaccinated or become infected with the virus and have been vaccinated once will be issued with an opportunity passport indefinitely. No booster dose is currently given to children.

For sick children, a passport is issued when the diagnosis has been confirmed on the basis of a positive PCR test or antigen test and no more than 210 days have elapsed since the positive test result.

The opportunity passport is also issued to children during the test – no earlier than 7 days after the moment of sampling, after a PCR test with a negative result.

Read more about the restrictions in force in the article: The passport procedure is being changed: it will become compulsory for children, staff will have to be vaccinated or tested, and some will no longer be valid

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