Tuesday 4/13/21
'GREEN CERTIFICATE'

Group of EU states work on passport to allow travel amid pandemic

The green passport is a certificate meant to contain information on the holder's Covid-19 vaccination and test results or previous infections, in order to facilitate travel.

28 March 2021, Bavaria, Kiefersfelden: Federal police officers check travellers entering Germany from Austria on the 93 motorway at the Kiefersfelden border crossing. The Czech Republic and Tyrol in Austria are no longer considered virus variant areas as of 28 March 2021, according to the risk classification of the Robert Koch Institute. Photo: Sven Hoppe/dpa
Police officers check travellers entering Germany from Austria on the 93 motorway at the border crossing point. Photo: Sven Hoppe/dpa.

 A group of EU members plans to present a list of priorities for the implementation of a scheme known as the green passport, which would facilitate travel in the bloc despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The green passports are to be implemented in a consistent and user-friendly way across borders, Austrian Tourism Minister Elisabeth Koestinger said on Monday, after a meeting with 12 other EU tourism ministers in Vienna.

The green passport is a certificate meant to contain information on the holder's Covid-19 vaccination and test results or previous infections, in order to facilitate travel.

Koestinger said that border-free travel should be possible again in the European Union by summer, after speaking with her colleagues from countries including France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain.

She also called for consistent criteria for entry requirements across the EU, for instance regarding the acceptance of a negative coronavirus test for allowing travel.

'Valid at every airport and hotel'

Austria is especially dependent on tourism and has pushed for the EU's green passports project.

"The green passport should be valid and readable at every airport and every hotel in Europe," Koestinger said.

Koestinger said the planned time frame for implementing the passport, which is due to be released on European level on 1 June, was ambitious.

In Austria, a first version is already to be introduced at the end of April, including coronavirus test results. It could be used, for example, to allow visits to the hairdresser.

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