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News article27 September 2021

State aid - EU Digital COVID Certificate: Commission awards €95 million to boost access to tests

The Commission has awarded grants to 20 Member States totalling €95 million to purchase COVID-19 diagnostic tests to facilitate the delivery of the EU Digital COVID Certificate.

This goes hand-in-hand with the continued roll-out of COVID-19 vaccinations and is part of the Commission's commitment to support affordable access to fast and accurate testing for those citizens who have not yet been fully vaccinated, in particular those who cannot get vaccinated due to medical reasons. The grants, financed through its Emergency Support Instrument (ESI), will allow Member States to provide tests. This support, channelled through the national authorities, will cater for the various needs in the different Member States.

Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “The EU Digital COVID Certificate allowed Europeans to resume safe travelling over the summer and has become a symbol of an open and safe Europe. Whilst vaccination is key and our strongest asset to put an end to the pandemic, fast and accurate testing remains important to tackle the spread of COVID-19. The 20 million rapid tests we purchased for Member States earlier this year and today's announcements of additional funds prove that we stand firm on our commitment to ensure that citizens have access to tests and that our digital certificates are available for everyone, in particular those who cannot get vaccinated.” 

Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice, said: “Over 400 million Europeans have so far benefited from the Certificate, and 42 countries are already linked to the EU certificate system. This is a major European achievement which has been highly valued by our citizens. Today's grants will further contribute to the use of the certificates and ensure that people can continue to move freely and safely. I welcome this decision and I call on the 20 Member States to make the best use of those additional tests.” The ESI provides a needs‐based, coordinated emergency response to help Member States address needs related to the immediate acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the exit, recovery and prevention of any resurgence. 

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Publication date
27 September 2021