HomeTravelEuropean Commission Proposes Digital Green Certificate to Facilitate Safe Travel
European Commission Proposes Digital Green Certificate to Facilitate Safe Travel
March 20, 2021
The European Commission has proposed a digital green certificate to promote safe travel within and between EU member states in light of the COVID 19 pandemic.
The certificate, which will be available free of charge digitally or in hard copy, will serve as proof that a person has been vaccinated, has received a negative PCR or rapid antigen test result, or has recovered from coronavirus, thereby avoiding quarantine or screening requirements. The digital green certificate will also include a QR code to ensure its security and authenticity. It will be valid in all EU Member States and open to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
The Commission undertakes to set up a gateway and to help the Member States develop software enabling the authorities to check all certification signatures throughout the continent.
The proposed scheme would only be a temporary measure, it said, adding that it would be suspended once the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the end of the COPID-19 crisis.
The digital green certificate offers an EU-wide solution so that European citizens can benefit from a harmonised digital tool to support free movement within the EU. This is a good signal to support the recovery, said Vera Jourova, European Commission Vice-President for values and transparency. Our main goal is to provide a user-friendly, non-discriminatory and secure tool that fully respects privacy.
If successful, the system could eventually be extended to travelers in other parts of the world. And we continue to work on international cooperation with other partners, Zhurova said.
The proposal has received praise and support from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
The World Travel and Tourism Council and its members believe the European Commission’s proposal for all EU member states to adopt a digital green certificate is an important step to rebuild the region’s travel and tourism industry, Gloria Guevara, president and CEO of the WTTC, said in a statement Wednesday. The introduction of the new travel certificate could mean that EU member states welcome travellers with proof of vaccination, a negative test or a positive antibody test, just in time for the busy summer season. It would give the economy a much-needed boost and save millions of jobs and livelihoods.
We would like to congratulate the European Commission on the incredible efforts it has made to achieve this in such a short time. It is now up to the Member States and the European Parliament to adopt this new initiative and we call on them to take the necessary steps to implement it without delay, she added. The proposed digital eco-certificate, along with improved hygiene measures and mandatory masks, will give consumers the confidence they need to book their trip and ensure a safe return home.
The next step is the adoption of the proposal by the European Parliament and the Council and, finally, its implementation by the Member States. The aim is to finalise the technical work and the proposal in the coming months, it said.