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EU set to agree Covid vaccine passport scheme in preparation for summer holidays
March 17, 2021
French MEP slams 'laughing stock' EU over vaccine rollout
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In a leaked Government document obtained by Bloomberg, the EU is tabling plans for the so-called vaccine passports today. The leaked document comes amid piling pressure on transport Secretary Grant Shapps to allow foreign travel this summer.
The European Commission’s “digital green certificate” will allow those who have been vaccinated to travel to or within the bloc without being forced to quarantine on arrival.
It is also suggested that the vaccine passport will be granted to those who have tested negative for the virus and those who can provide proof of immunity having recovered from an initial infection of COVID-19.
There has been pushback against the scheme as some nations and campaign groups fear the certificate would discriminate against those who have not had a chance to receive the jab.
Spain, Greece, Italy and other European destination hotspots have suffered under the pandemic without the influx of tourists.
EU officials stressed the digital green certificate would not be a passport but rather a system designed to assist Governments in coordinating travel measures as vaccination programmes continue.
Vaccination programmes across the EU are much slower compared to the UK with some suggesting that they are at least two months behind.
Many Europeans will not receive an approved first dose of the jab until the end of the summer or possibly even later.
The EU’s slow vaccination programme can partly be attributed to the delay in approving the AstraZeneca jabs.
Included in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown were plans to investigate the use of similar vaccine certificates that could help reopen the economy.
A review of the programme is being led by Michael Gove to investigate any potential problems that may arise.
In a statement on March 15, Mr Gove said: “This review into Covid-status certification is an important part of our plan to help reopen the country and return to normal.
“However, we recognise that there are complex issues of ethics, privacy and inclusion that need to be fully considered.
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“That is why I want to get as many views as possible on Covid-status certification and its potential implications to help inform the review.”