İrem UZUN -TDO- The European Union has announced a plan to set up a travel certificate to help restore freedom of movement within the bloc for citizens inoculated against the coronavirus. The certificate is intended to help revive the EU's multi-billion tourism and leisure industries that have been devastated by the pandemic. It would collate information on vaccinations, tests and COVID-19 recovery to let travelers cross borders freely again after a year of curbs that have left beaches and famous landmarks deserted.
The certificate will show "whether the person has either been vaccinated, or has a recent negative test, or has recovered from COVID-19, and thus has antibodies," said Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. "With this digital certificate we aim to help member states reinstate the freedom of movement in a safe, responsible and trusted manner." The European Commission guaranteed that “a very high level of data protection will be ensured” and said the certificates will be issued in digital format to be shown either on smartphones or paper.
The commission proposed that all vaccines rubberstamped by the European Medicines Agency should be automatically recognized, but also offered governments the possibility to include other vaccines like Russia’s Sputnik or China’s Sinovac, which haven't received EU market authorization. It added the certificates should be suspended once the World Health Organization declares the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. If agreed by the EU leaders, the proposal will need to be approved by EU lawmakers to enter into force.