Commission to propose digital green pass for travel this month

The Commission will put forward a legislative proposal this month on a digital green pass that proves a traveler has been vaccinated against the coronavirus, President Ursula von der Leyen said Monday.

“The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the European Union or abroad — for work or tourism,” she announced on Twitter.

But in order to prevent discrimination, the pass would also have to include other information such as results of recent COVID-19 tests or proof of immunity.

A package of measures focused on travel is due to be adopted on March 17, ahead of a meeting of EU leaders on March 25, Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas said. “The aim would be to set a common direction towards Europe’s safe opening … Of course, this is a legislative proposal … so this is not something which could be optional,” he said.

EU leaders agreed in January on what a vaccine certificate should look like — although that was intended for medical purposes only. The incoming legislative proposal will add to that.

The certificate should be in place in three months “if everything goes according to plan,” a Commission spokesperson said — something von der Leyen flagged last week.

Several EU leaders, including Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, lobbied during last week’s meeting for a green pass to restart the freedom to travel. However, French President Emmanuel Macron warned Thursday that a vaccine can’t be a precondition for travel.

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