Vaccine Certificate approval has been gained by The European Parliament, for its citizens. The certificate program is aimed primarily at citizens of the EU and does not apply to those outside of EU member states. The processes for foreign travellers will be left to individual member states to decide.
This approval brings positive news to those in the travel industry in the EU who are hoping for a better summer than 2020. The EU Parliament hope to have things in place by June 2021, providing all negotiations with member states go well. The certificate would be in use for 12 months and would only be for travel use. Certificate holders would be exempt from arrival testing, self-isolation and quarantines upon arrival in member states different to their own.
The certificate is likely to be available both in paper form and digitally.
On Wednesday (April 28) evening, the member states of the EU voted for the vaccine certificate, with the results announced the following day. However, many MEPs had previously made significant changes to the draft law, which may cause some issues in the upcoming negotiations with the individual EU member states.
The EU Covid-19 certificate will show three things:
- Proof of vaccination
- A recent negative Covid-19 test result
- Proof that the user has recovered after contracting the virus.
Fears have been raised by some that discrimination may occur against non-vaccinated travellers. In response to this, calls have been made for “universal, accessible, timely and and free of charge testing.” This will need to be discussed with member states in order to decide who is liable for the costs of implementation.
Currently, member states have been devising their own methods of handling any form of certification. The EU Parliament has said that it will work with these member states to ensure everything works in harmony.
In theory, the certificate should make travel within the EU easier. Of course – it all depends on how the negotiations with member states goes in the meantime.
The EU is also in discussion with the Wold Health Organisation to roll it out globally. This would include the EU, although at time of press no discussions have been had between the EU and the UK.
Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission President said on Twitter, “The European Parliament decision on adopting its position on a Digital Green Certificate is a key step towards free and safe travel this summer”.
Editor note: The word “citizen” is being solely among the respected sources – hence our use of the term also. However, we suspect this will apply to formal “residents” of EU countries – for example, British “citizens” that are “resident” in Spain. We hope so anyway!!!