Uruguay Tuesday became the fifth country to join the European Union’s covid-19 certificate program. It is also South America’s first.
“We are very happy to announce that Uruguay is the first country in South America to join the EU COVID digital certificate system,” wrote on Twitter the EU’s office in Uruguay (@UEenUruguay).
Under the new agreement, European Union members will accept the COVID-19 certificates issued in Uruguay and, by the same token, Uruguay will recognize those digital documents held by nationals of any European Union country.However, the QR proof of vaccination will apply only to those who have received any brand approved by the EU. Therefore, the receiprocity treaty will be good for those who have received Pfizer’s drug but not for those who have been injected with Sinovac.
“Europe does not recognize Sinovac. But there are many Uruguayans who have the two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, with which they are approved to travel to Europe,” Richard Empson, communication and public relations advisor of the EU’s office in Uruguay told El Observador. He added that “those who have two doses of Sinovac and a booster from Pfizer for now can only travel to countries that recognize” the Chinese drug.The situation may change if a second booster from Pfizer is finally applied or if Europe definitively recognizes Sinovac following on the World Health Organization (WHO)’s steps from last June. Before this agreement, the Coronavirus UY app did not work when leaving Uruguay, it was explained. Europeans with a similar app will have no problems entering Uruguay, since all vaccines in use throughout the EU are valid in Uruguay.
Foreigners currently wanting to enter Uruguay are required a PCR test from up to 72 hours before the journey, in addition to the full vaccination certificate for all those aged 18 or over, from at least 15 days prior to departure and issued within the last 9 months. Unvaccinated travelers may follow the steps set forth in Decree 104/20. Minors aged between 6 and 18 must only submit their PCR tests plus the “affidavit of entry for foreigners” applicable for everyone. The other countries to have joined the COVID-19 vaccination reciprocity scheme are Montenegro, Taiwan, Thailand and Tunisia.