EU to propose digital vaccination passport in March, von der Leyen says

Lawrence Kim
March 3, 2021

The pass would allow people to gradually "move safely in the European Union or overseas - for work or tourism", she said.

Her vice president, Margaritis Schinas, said in a news conference that the commission's legislation was expected to be submitted to the European Parliament on March 17, and that it would then be given to EU leaders at a March 25 summit for adoption.

"The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the European Union or overseas - for work or tourism", Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said in a tweet on Monday.

Southern EU states that heavily rely on their tourism industries have championed the so-called "coronavirus passports".

The EU Commission also said last month it was working on a possible fast-track approval of upgraded anti-variant vaccines, which had already been authorised and would need fewer comprehensive checks before they are made available to the public.

We'll present this month a legislative proposal for a Digital Green Pass.

Greece and Austria have urged other European Union states to adopt vaccination passports.

National emergency approvals are allowed under European Union laws, but they force countries to take full responsibility if something goes wrong with a vaccine, whereas under the more rigorous marketing authorisation, pharmaceutical companies remain liable for their vaccines. "We must therefore uphold tight restrictions while stepping up efforts to accelerate the provision of vaccines." .

Paper vaccine certificates could soon be a thing of the past when traveling in the EU.

"We have said that we are looking at the issue of vaccine passports". While vaccine certificates could indeed be key to tentatively restarting tourism in Europe, concerns are being raised that it would be discriminatory.

Greece unveiled a digital vaccination certificate in February for those who have received two doses of the vaccine. This can then be scanned to verify the validity of the certification, detailing which kind of vaccine has been administered, along with the dates of the doses.

Simon Stevens (R), Chief Executive of the NHS, watches as a nurse (C) administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to Frank Naderer (L), 82, at Guy's Hospital in London on December 8, 2020 as the United Kingdom starts its biggest ever vaccination programme.

The Commission declined to go into further detail when contacted for comment and during a press briefing today when it was asked for more details about the digital pass plan. It has now launched a mobile app inoculation certificate.

But German Chancellor Angela Merkel has pushed back against using a digital certificate to start allowing foreign tourists into the bloc.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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