KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 26 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) is still reviewing the European Union’s (EU) digital Covid-19 certification checklist — a list of requirements that non-EU countries’ vaccination certifications must meet to be interoperable for travel into the region.
“The MOH is reviewing the checklist provided by the EU in terms of Malaysia’s ability to meet the requirements set by the group and also the implications of this reciprocal recognition from a public health intervention point of view, especially on quarantine requirements for foreigners entering the country,” Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said.
He said this in a written reply in Parliament in response to Senator Kesavadas Achyuthan Nair’s question on the government’s efforts to create uniformity and co-recognition of Covid-19 digital certificates between Malaysia and other countries.
Currently, the EU recognises 16 non-EU Covid-19 certificates which accept the same conditions as the EU digital Covid-19 certificate. This includes the exemption of travel-related testing and quarantine for fully vaccinated persons and recovered persons within a definite timeframe.
According to a statement by the European Commission (EC) last week, EU member states have issued more than 591 million EU digital Covid-19 certificates.
A total of 43 countries are already connected to the EU system, consisting of the EU’s 27 member states, three European Economic Area (EEA) countries, Switzerland, and 12 other countries and territories.
The EC was also approached by 60 non-EU countries interested in joining the EU system. Beyond the ones already connected, technical discussions are ongoing with 28 countries.
Previously, the EU said it would consider recognising Malaysia’s Covid-19 vaccination certificate as equivalent to the bloc’s for travel into the region.
Apart from reviewing the EU checklist, Khairy said efforts to have reciprocal recognition of Covid-19 vaccination certificates between Malaysia and other countries should be led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through diplomatic channels, alongside the MOH.
“For this purpose, efforts are underway to prepare a joint memorandum between the MOH, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation to be submitted to the Cabinet,” he said.