It marks an effort to set common standards for testing across Europe at a time when several countries require a negative result before allowing travellers to enter.
"If negative Covid-19 tests are to be required or recommended for any activity, it is essential that they are mutually recognised, and result in certificates recognised across the EU. This is essential, particularly in the context of travel. Our citizens need clarity and predictability," said the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides.
The health security committee on Thursday published a list of 16 rapid antigen tests that it said would be mutually recognized in all member states.
"Member States agree that Covid-19 test results should be made available in the national language(s) of the country where the test was taken, as well as English," the committee also said.
That should simplify matters for people travelling not only within the EU but also between Europe and the UK, which currently requires arriving travellers to show a negative test result in either English, French or Spanish, with translations not accepted.
The rule has created headaches for people travelling from Italy and other countries whose national languages aren't on the UK's list, and where providers issuing results in English can be hard to track down.
All test result certificates should include the same set of information, the EU committee said, namely:
- Person's name
- Date of birth
- Type of test, including manufacturer and commercial name (for antigen tests)
- Name of infection tested for (SARS-CoV-2)
- Date and time
- Testing centre
- Test result issuer
The list of rapid antigen tests accepted for public health measures across the EU will be constantly reviewed and updated, the committee said, especially if certain tests are found to be less effective at detecting new variants of the coronavirus.
Find the current list here.