The validity period of the EU's Covid-19 digital safe pass for vaccination status is to be limited to nine months after the first completed vaccine course for users without a booster shot, the European Commission announced on Tuesday.
European Commission spokesperson Christian Wigand said the binding rules for the validity period limit apply to travel within the European Union and provide "clarity for EU citizens when they exercise their right to free movement."
The EU's Covid-19 digital safe pass permits the holder to travel in the bloc if they are vaccinated, recovered from Covid-19 or have recently tested negative for the virus.
The travel pass was central to the coordinated return of freedom of movement in the EU after pandemic lockdowns.
In recent months, EU member states have pushed the commission to link the validation status of vaccination in the travel pass to include booster vaccine doses.
The travel pass was at risk of losing its usefulness as EU member states began to introduce new standards linked to booster doses for full vaccination status amid a fourth coronavirus wave.
A press release from the EU executive branch said the new rules for the nine-month acceptance period come into effect from 1 February 2022.
According to the commission, 807 million certificates were issued in the EU and 60 countries outside the EU have joined the system.