LONDON - The European Commission recognised on Wednesday COVID-19 certificates issued by Morocco as equivalent to those issued by the European Union (EU), opening the way to easier travel for thousands of Moroccans who had been fully inoculated against the virus with China’s Sinopharm.
“COVID-19 vaccination and test certificates issued by the Kingdom of Morocco in accordance with the SGC’Cov system shall, for the purpose of facilitating the right of free movement within the [European] Union, be considered as equivalent to those issued in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2021/953,” read the text of the European decision.
“The Kingdom of Morocco shall be connected to the EU Digital COVID Certificate trust framework established by Regulation (EU) 2021/953." In this regard, European sources in Brussels have specified that Morocco is, for the time being, the only African and Arab country to obtain such a status within the European Union,” said the text.
This decision comes after the European Commission had carried out technical tests, demonstrating that "the COVID-19 vaccination and test certificates are issued by the Kingdom of Morocco in accordance with the SGC’Cov system that is interoperable with the trust framework established by Regulation (EU) 2021/953, and allows for the verification of the authenticity, validity and integrity of the certificates."
According to the same decision, Morocco has informed the European Commission that it accepts vaccination, test and recovery certificates issued by EU Member States and European Economic Area (EEA) countries.
The EU recognises only four vaccines -- BioNTech/Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
The news came as a sigh of relief of thousands of vaccinated Moroccans wishing to travel to the European continent but could not make it because many EU countries did not accept Chinese vaccines.