Sunday 8/1/21
GREEN CERTIFICATE

EU signs digital Covid-19 vaccine pass into law, easing travel in bloc

Some EU countries, such as Germany and Spain, began issuing the certificates ahead of the final approval by Brussels. Finland not yet.
HANDOUT - 14 June 2021, Belgium, Brussels: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen attends a press conference after the presidents of the three main EU institutions signed a plan for a digital Covid-19 vaccine certificate. Photo: Daina Le Lardic/European Parliament/dpa - ATTENTION: editorial use only and only if the credit mentioned above is referenced in full
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen after signing a plan for a digital Covid-19 vaccine certificate. Photo: Daina Le Lardic/EU Parliament/dpa.
The presidents of the three main EU institutions signed a plan for a digital Covid-19 vaccine certificate into law on Monday, setting it up to go live on 1 July across the bloc.

The signatures were the European Union's final approval for a pass that indicates whether someone has tested negative or recovered from the coronavirus, or has been vaccinated against it.

All 27 EU member states are to recognize certificates issued in other countries, making travel easier across the 450-million-strong region as the summer holiday season kicks off.

It is ultimately up to the capitals to decide what perks come with the certificate, but many governments have indicated they will drop quarantine and testing requirements for vaccinated individuals.

Some EU countries, such as Germany and Spain, began issuing the certificates ahead of the final approval by Brussels. Finland not yet.

The pass will be a QR code on a smartphone or on paper.

50% of adults vaccinated

Millions of Europeans stand to benefit. Over 50% of the adult EU population has received at least one Covid-19 vaccine shot, and 27% has been fully immunized, according to the European Centre for Disease Control.

The digital scheme could eventually widen to include non-EU countries - such as the US and Britain - provided the proper documentation is available.

"The Europe that we all know and that we all want back is a Europe without barriers. The EU Certificate will again enable citizens to enjoy this most tangible and cherished of EU rights – the right to free movement," European Parliament President David Sassoli, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen and presiding EU Council Chair Antonio Costa said in a joint statement after the signature.

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