Council Recommendation on a common framework for the use and validation of rapid antigen tests and the mutual recognition of COVID-19 test results in the EU

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Series Details C 24, Pages 1-5
Publication Date 22/01/2021
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Recommendation adopted by the Council of the European Union on 21 January 2021 concerning a common framework for the use of rapid antigen tests and the mutual recognition of COVID-19 test results across the European Union (EU).

Further information:

A common framework is seen as essential in helping mitigate the spread of the virus and contribute to the smooth functioning of the single market. The mutual recognition of test results for SARS-CoV2 infection carried by certified health bodies is essential in order to facilitate cross-border movement, cross-border contact tracing and treatment.

Key components of this recommendation include the validation and mutual recognition of rapid antigen tests and RT-PCR tests among Member States, the sharing of a standardised set of data (through a digital platform), the development of a common list of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests, the prioritisation of situations for the use of such tests. The recommendation also includes future-proof provisions to address the challenges of the evolving pandemic: the common list of appropriate COVID-19 rapid antigen tests should be flexible enough for addition or removal of those tests whose efficacy is impacted by COVID-19 mutations.

The proposal for this Recommendation was tabled by the European Commission on 18 December 2020 upon previous request by the European Council. It was negotiated in the relevant bodies of the Council and adopted on 21 January 2021. It is not legally binding; it sets out best practices, which Member States are encouraged to follow.

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Related Links
European Commission: Press Release, 18/12/2020: Coronavirus: Commission puts forward rules on rapid antigen tests and secures 20 million tests for Member States
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 21/01/2021: Council agrees on strengthening the use of rapid antigen tests and on the mutual recognition of COVID-19 test results

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