EU finalizes 'Covid passport' that allows travel with vaccination or negative test
The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has announced this morning that her team have finalized a legislative proposal to create a digital certificate that "facilitates movements within the EU and abroad", of those travellers who have been vaccinated against Covid-19, or have a negative test result before travelling.
This means that the head of the EU has given countries, such as Greece and Spain, a kind of "passport" for immunized travellers in order to reactivate tourism after the third wave of the pandemic, despite the fact that on Thursday after a summit with EU leaders she warned that Brussels would work on a certificate for medical use only over the next three months, because there was not enough consensus among the 27 member states to discuss what uses it could be given further.
Now she has given details of her plans to present this initiative during a closed meeting with German deputies from her party, and later confirmed it through Twitter, when the news had already reached the press.
In her message on the social network, Von der Leyen pointed out that the proposal will be presented "this month" and "will respect data protection, security and privacy", although she has avoided giving any other details about the date or the content of the proposal.
The certificate, which German politicians have dubbed the "Digital Green Pass", will include medical data to indicate whether the patient has been vaccinated, or the results of Covid tests to prove their status if they have not yet been vaccinated, for example a negative PCR or an antigen test that proves that you have antibodies.
The aim is for this certificate to “facilitate the movements of Europeans”, said Von der Leyen's spokesman, Eric Mamer, recalling that freedom of movement is one of the four fundamental freedoms of the EU, that is, that there are common competences that allow the European Commission to present a legislative proposal.
n this way, Von der Leyen said on Twitter, the aim of the pass is to allow Europeans to be able to "move gradually safely" both within the EU and abroad, and this for travel "to be for work or tourism”.
Currently, several member states have their borders closed to trips considered non-essential, such as Belgium and Germany, and a majority require a negative PCR test result before, and a second test or quarantine after the trip to ensure that they are not a coronavirus carrier.
Asked about Von der Leyen's change of position, her spokesperson said that the president of the Commission listens to the member states, and is aware of how the debate has evolved and has understood that there is a “need to provide a concrete solution” to this matter.
"We are looking for the best option to ensure that there is a quick solution to this problem," continued Mamer, who insisted that the proposal they are working on in Brussels "only concerns the passage between borders and not what can be done within each Member State”.
In any case, the legislative proposal will go hand in hand with the technical development of the certificate itself, which must also be agreed by the member states based on guidelines proposed by the Commission, and which, as indicated last week by Von der Leyen and the President of the Council, Charles Michel, it is a job that will require "at least three months" of work.