The so-called “digital green pass” provides proof that a person has been vaccinated – or test results if they haven’t received their doses yet. The plans have been laid in a bid to open up travel and help flailing economies.
“The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the European Union or abroad – for work or tourism,” Commission chief, Ursula von der Leyen, tweeted.
However, in a draft document seen by Reuters, any future certificate must be free from discriminating information, such as whether people have been tested or have recovered.
The digital certificates are eagerly awaited by many countries in Europe, who rely on tourism and are hoping for an opening up this summer.
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But the European Commission clashed with some countries, including Germany, which claimed that vaccinations are not mandatory nor available to those who want it.
The Digital Green Pass should facilitate Europeans‘ lives.
The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the European Union or abroad – for work or tourism.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) March 1, 2021
Angela Merkel told German newspaper Allgemeine Zeitung: “First, it must actually be clearly resolved that vaccinated people are no longer infectious.”
“As long as the number of those who have been vaccinated is still so much smaller than the number who are waiting for vaccination, the state should not treat the two groups differently.”
President Macron also voiced concerns about the fairness of vaccine passports for young people at a virtual meeting of the member states.
Contained in the draft document, which aims to “facilitate free movement” during the pandemic, is a clause that states proof of vaccination should not discriminate against those who either refuse or are unable to access the doses, according to Reuters.
What does this mean for those people who fall into this category? Can they still have a ‘Covid passport?
It’s still not clear and will come down to member states to decide how they enforce such a certificate – whether travel restrictions are lifted for those vaccinated is up to each country.
The news comes as pressure mounts for EU leaders amid criticisms of slow vaccine rollouts – it’s expected more answers come when they will discuss the proposal later in March.