Last week EU negotiators struck an agreement for a “digital green certificate” scheme, which holiday hubs see as a vital lifeline for the coming peak tourist season.
Europe’s “digital green certificate” scheme could be the key to unlock the door to international travel within the EU and further afield.
The certificate will take the form of a QR code on a smartphone or paper, letting authorities determine the status of a visitor based on records in their home EU country.
The certificate will show if a person has been vaccinated, had a recent negative test, or already has immunity based on recovery, and could provide the basis for waiving the quarantine requirements currently in place for many trips within the bloc.
Given the green light
Virginia Messina, Senior Vice President WTTC said “WTTC welcomes the agreement reached on the EU Digital COVID Certificate, which has now been given the green light by all member states.
“This new certificate could be the key to unlocking international travel and save thousands of businesses and millions of jobs across Europe and beyond.
“The European Commission must be applauded for its incredible efforts in launching this major initiative, which could be the driving force behind the resurrection of Travel & Tourism,” Messina said.
“For more than a year, the Travel & Tourism sector has suffered like never before, with 62 million people around the world losing their jobs. But this initiative will aid the restoration of safe international travel.”
European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders says the European Union’s COVID-19 certificate should be up and running by July 1, hailing a freshly struck deal on the scheme as “good news for all European citizens.”
However, a six-week transition period will follow for member states that need more time, the commissioner added. This covers most of the peak tourism season of July and August.
The scheme will allow EU citizens to “circulate more freely within the EU in total health safety” and will support economic sectors dependent on free movement, Reynders told journalists in Brussels on Friday.
Once the plan is fully implemented, member states should in principle refrain from imposing any additional travel restrictions like quarantine requirements on certificate holders.
The idea is that the certificates can be read anywhere in the bloc, no matter which EU country issued it.
Back in Australia…
The Federal Government is reportedly in active discussions with the airline industry to establish a modern vaccine passport system, designed to allow those immunised against COVID-19 to travel freely interstate and abroad.
Home Affairs boss Michael Pezzullo is expecting the federal government’s digital passenger declaration to be trialled by early next year.
Watch this space.
How do you feel about vaccine passports? Let us know, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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