Smartphone with digital vaccination certificate for COVID-19 on a luggage.

EU To Propose Digital Green Pass Allowing Travel After Vaccination

The European Union will propose a digital green pass that indicates whether a traveler has been vaccinated against the coronavirus. The proposal is expected to be adopted with other travel-related regulations on March 17th. Photo Credit: Freepik / Illustrative Photo.

Czech Rep., March 3 (BD) – The European Union will propose a “digital green pass” that indicates whether a traveler has been vaccinated against the coronavirus, Writing on Twitter on Monday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that: “The aim is to gradually enable [travelers] to move safely in the European Union or abroad — for work or tourism.” Another goal of the proposal is to open up summer tourism in the EU for those who are safely vaccinated, who will be able to fly, attend events and eat out in restaurants. 

According to Von der Leyen, the green pass could also include recent negative test results of those who have not yet been vaccinated, and indicate if a person has ever recovered from COVID-19. She added that the privacy of citizens would be protected. The form of the green pass is thought to be a certificate of vaccination which will prove that a traveler has been successfully vaccinated against COVID-19. The certificate should also offer easier travel for those with immunity due to having antibodies for COVID-19. 

A broader package of measures on travel regulations is due to be adopted on March 17th. The aim is “to set a common direction towards Europe’s safe opening,” said the Commission’s Vice President Margaritis Schinas. “Of course, this is a legislative proposal, so this is not something which could be optional,” he added. The proposal, which will apply for the following three months, will also include decisions on the details of a vaccine certificate. Some European leaders are critical of the proposal, mainly around privacy concerns, and the fact that the majority of the EU residents have not yet been vaccinated. The World Health Organisation commented that such a decision could create discrimination within society for those who have not been vaccinated, especially in countries where there is a shortage of vaccines. While Greece is a supporter of the proposal due to its tourism-based economy, France is concerned about data privacy and social discrimination. The Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès also expressed opposition to the green pass: “That is not right. Vaccination is not compulsory in our country. We do not want vaccination to become the key to entering a country. For southern countries who want to revive tourism, a filter already exists, in the form of tests and quarantine.”

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