Deal reached to introduce an EU-wide COVID travel pass
Update. The European Parliament confirmed on Thursday a deal had been reached over the travel pass with the EU’s 27 member states.
The free certificate will take the form of a QR code on a smartphone or paper, letting authorities determine the status of a visitor based on records in their home EU country.
The certificate would show if a person had received a vaccine, had a recent negative test or had immunity based on recovery. Nearly 40% of EU adults have received a first vaccine dose.
In the end, EU countries agreed to refrain from imposing additional restrictions, such as testing or quarantines, unless considered necessary on public health grounds, such as because of the rise of a new coronavirus variant.
EU countries would allow in people inoculated with EU-authorised vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen) and could choose to accept other vaccines. The scheme also covers non-EU members of the border-free Schengen zone – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
Those with one vaccine dose will be able to apply for the pass.
The official name of the travel pass will be «EU Digital COVID certificate», a slight edit from the original «Digital Green Certificate». The COVID certificate will not be a precondition for free movement nor a substitute for an actual passport. The instrument will remain in place for one year. The agreement between the institutions should allow the European Parliament to pass a law in the week from June 7 and for more than a dozen EU countries, including France and Spain, to test the system before a launch on July 1.