EU Confirms ‘Digital Green Certificate’ That Will Allow British Nationals to Travel
The EU has published details of its “digital green certificate” which will see travellers having to provide information on whether or not they have been vaccinated, carry antibodies or have had a negative COVID-19 test.
The EU is set to confirm its plans to move ahead with a “digital green certificate” for travel. Reportedly, visitors from non-EU countries will be able to travel to the member states if they are able to present “certificates under a system deemed sufficiently reliable”.
As the UK is no longer part of the EU, the digital green pass will apply to them.
It will be available, free of charge, in digital or paper format. It will include a QR code to ensure security and authenticity of the certificate. The exact dates of when the scheme will begin are yet to be revealed.
However, under the digital green pass holidaymakers who have not been vaccinated will still be able to travel.
It could also set out details on whether a traveller has previously recovered from COVID, and has antibodies.
Passengers are also anticipated to be allowed to jet off if they can provide a negative COVID-19 test result.
In order for British nationals to be given the go ahead to travel, infection rates would need to remain low in the UK.
Reports suggest EU countries will also be able to strike “travel corridor” style deals with certain nations, should the “digital green pass” scheme not be feasible.
Furthermore, many nations have already spoken out about plans to welcome back UK tourists regardless of whether or not they have been vaccinated.
The list includes Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Greece.
Greek tourism minister Harry Theocharis has suggested the nation is open to making a deal directly with the UK for travel, regardless of EU decisions.
Spain announced it would give its full support to a European COVID vaccine passport in a bid to reactivate the beleaguered tourism industry. However, the nation added it could soon welcome travellers back to the Canary and Balearic Islands as long as they can produce a negative COVID-19 test result.
Cyprus’ government additionally stated that they will welcome tourists to the nation if they have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
Meanwhile, Rita Marques, Portugal’s tourism minister has expressed her hopes for the country to soon open its borders to tourists who have either been vaccinated or tested negative for the coronavirus.
She said: “I do believe that Portugal will soon allow restriction-free travel, not only for vaccinated people but those who are immune or who test negative. We hope to welcome British tourists from 17 May.”
The implementation of the EU-wide certificate is eagerly anticipated by tourism-reliant nations like Spain, Greece and Croatia, which need a summer rebound in order to kick start their badly damaged economies.
Consensus among member states has been progressively growing since the start of the vaccination campaign, but the irregular and disappointing pace of inoculation has cast some doubts over the initiative.
The Digital Green Certificate system is a temporary measure, the EU Commission underlined. The instrument will be suspended once the World Health Organization (WHO) declares the end of the international health emergency.
“The Digital Green Certificate will not be a precondition to free movement and it will not discriminate in any way. A common EU-approach will not only help us to gradually restore free movement within the EU and avoid fragmentation,” explained Commissioner Reynders.
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