The EU has presented plans to issue ‘digital green certificates’ allowing its 450million people to travel freely across the bloc this summer.
The scheme, which will be discussed next week during a summit of EU leaders, will facilitate travel across Europe for people who have been vaccinated as well as others who have recently been tested or recovered from Covid-19.
‘We all want the tourist season to start. We can’t afford to lose another season,’ European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova told Czech public radio. ‘Tourism, and also culture and other sectors that are dependent on tourism terribly suffer. We’re talking about tens of millions of jobs.’
The commission proposed that its Digital Green Certificates, which should be free of charge, would be delivered to EU residents who can prove they have been vaccinated, but also to those who tested negative for the virus or have proof they recovered from it.
The process for obtaining a certificate has not been confirmed, as the plan stated they will be issued by national health authorities.
‘Being vaccinated will not be a precondition to travel,’ the commission said. ‘All EU citizens have a fundamental right to free movement in the EU and this applies regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not.
The Digital Green Certificate will make it easier to exercise that right, also through testing and recovery certificates.’
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.